Increase your productivity in 25 minute blocks
When things get tough or overwhelming, it’s very easy to just do nothing.
However, procrastination doesn’t move your business forward…
Rather than getting frustrated with yourself, I recommend trying out a productivity and time management ‘hack’ called ‘The Pomodoro Technique’. Also known as ‘The Pomodoro Method’.
You might have heard of it. Or maybe it’s a brand new concept for you.
Either way, I highly recommend trying The Pomodoro Technique to increase your productivity in just 25 minute blocks. I’ve personally benefited from this strategy and I think you will too. (In fact, this blog article was written during multiple Pomodoro sessions!)
Let’s take a deep dive into what’s involved and why you need to give it a crack!
What is The Pomodoro Technique?
This funny-named technique is a time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. The name is sourced from the Italian word for tomato – which is the shape of the kitchen timer Francesco used as a university student.
Anyway, the method aims to break up work into intervals – typically 25 minutes in length – that are separated by short breaks. The goal is to reduce the impact of internal and interruptions on ‘focus and flow’. And if interrupted during a work session, the other activity must be noted and postponed – OR the Pomodoro must be abandoned.
Then you start the 25 minutes again.
(I actually didn’t know about this last part until I researched it properly. I usually get distracted at least once during a Pomodoro…but then keep going!)
How does it work?
The original Pomodoro Technique has six steps:
- Decide on the task to be done.
- Set the timer, which is typically for 25 minutes. You can use your phone or this online tool I found.
- Work on the task.
- When the timer goes off, stop work and take a 5-10 minute break.
And then repeat.
Francesco recommends doing three Pomordoros with the short break. For your fourth Pomodoro, take a longer, 20-30 minute break.
And then start again with the small breaks.
I’ve been following the three session approach in my Business Blogging: Get It Done sessions. We don’t usually stretch it out to a fourth session – mainly because, among advice and feedback, we only have time to complete three within the two hour sessions!)
But I digress.
If you complete your task before the 25 minutes is up, Francesco recommends using that time to:
- review your work
- acknowledge your accomplishments/outcomes, or
- review your list of upcoming tasks for the next planned Pomodoro time.
I think acknowledging your accomplishments is a great idea. Especially if you just completed a task that you’ve been procrastinating over for weeks – and you just got it done in 20 minutes…
Who needs to try it?
As touched upon above, this is a fantastic productivity and time management hack for the procrastinators out there.
Just set your timer for 25 minutes and tell yourself that’s all you need to do.
Quite often, you’ll find your flow or get into the groove (love my alliteration) – and end up working through your break anyway.
If you’re a ‘solopreneur’, working in isolation at home, or have a massive to-do list, you might struggle to stay focused and motivated throughout the day. So The Pomodoro Technique can help you break down your tasks into manageable chunks.
It means you actually get stuff done.
Rather than ending up with a whole bunch of half-completed tasks…
Why is The Pomodoro Technique so effective?
By setting the timer and working in short bursts, you’ll probably find you accomplish a lot more in less time.
Because you’re super focused on a particular task.
Rather than jumping from project to project – then trying to re-orientate yourself every time you return to something.
According to a University of California, Irvine study, “it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back to the task” after a distraction.
So that’s a wasted 23 minutes right there – almost a whole Pomodoro session!
Once you’re in a sprint, 25 minutes actually goes super quickly. But if you are struggling in any shape or form, at least you know that you have a 5-10 minute break coming up shortly as a mini ‘reward’.
While it might seem counterintuitive, these breaks are key to your effectiveness and productivity.
They give your brain the chance to rest and recharge – meaning you’ll be able to focus even more when you get back to work.
Try it on your own or in a group
I highly recommend trying The Pomodoro Technique today. You’ll probably surprise yourself with what you achieve.
You can either do it on your own – or get a bunch of fellow business owners together and keep each other accountable. Maybe you need that extra element to ensure it gets done!
I run group Business Blogging: Get It Done sessions via Zoom – and so far I’ve written 5 of my own blogs in 2023. This is my most consistent effort to date…and I’ve been in business for over 8 years. I always feel this amazing sense of satisfaction after I complete another blog article – and I’m sure you’ll feel the same.
Is Pomodoro for you?
I guess the thing is, you won’t know until you try it. And there’s no fee involved.
It’s just a time investment.
But I know it will be effective because it helps you become more intentional with your time. And breaking work into manageable chunks means less overwhelm.
Ultimately, Pomodoro can help you make progress towards your goals, rather than getting bogged down in distractions or unimportant tasks.
As long as you choose the right tasks to spend your 25 minute sessions on!
Need extra support?
I invite you to join me at an upcoming Business Blogging: Get It Done session – where you can see how I personally run Pomodoro sessions.
Alternatively, you can book in a free 15 minute virtual tea with me to discuss any copywriting or content marketing requirements you may have.