Advertising

Last Updated on April 19, 2021

Why the Pomodoro Method Is the Best Productivity Timer

Advertising
Why the Pomodoro Method Is the Best Productivity Timer

Studying and concentrating at work isn’t always the easiest thing to do. With so many distractions around, wouldn’t it be great if there was something that could keep you consistently productive throughout the day? Luckily, there is a productivity timer that is ready to rise to the challenge.

A productivity timer is a tool that can keep you on task when you find it difficult to focus, and the best one out there is the Pomodoro Method. If you’re after a tried and true technique that can help you to block out distractions, then keep reading to find out more.

What Is the Pomodoro Method?

While more of a method than an actual tool, the Pomodoro Technique is a time management technique created by Francesco Cirillo in the 1990s that emphasizes timing your work and taking breaks during focus sessions.[1] The name derives from the Italian word for “tomato,” after the tomato-shaped kitchen timer Cirillo used to time himself when he studied during his time at university.The method requires you to start working in 25 minute intervals, known as pomodoros, while focusing on only one thing. After each pomodoro, you take a 5-minute break, then repeat the process. After completing 4 pomodoros, you’re able to take longer breaks of 15 to 30 minutes.[2]

The Pomodoro Technique productivity timer
    This method works well as a productivity timer because it forces you to focus on one thing at a time and practice task management within a time limit. It’s also effective because it asks you to aim for something that’s actually achievable. The 25-minute intervals you’re expected to work and refrain from distraction is a totally realistic goal.

    Here are 6 simple steps to follow when you want to try the Pomodoro productivity timer:

    • Step 1: Pick a task. Remember you can only focus on one thing, so prioritize accordingly.
    • Step 2: Set your timer for 25 minutes. You can use the timer on your phone, an online timer, a time-tracking app, or you can take it up a notch and get yourself a tomato-shaped kitchen timer.
    • Step 3: Work on the selected task. For the next 25 minutes, shut off distractions and completely immerse yourself in what’s in front of you.
    • Step 4: When you hear the timer go off, stop working and put a checkmark on a piece of paper.
    • Step 5: Take a short break, and make sure it doesn’t exceed 5 minutes!
    • Step 6: After you have 4 checkmarks on your piece of paper, you can take a longer break of about 15 to 30 minutes. After that, restart your count and repeat steps 1 to 5 until you reach another 4 checkmarks where you can take another longer break.

    Why the Pomodoro Method Is the Best Productivity Timer

    Here are 5 reasons why the Pomodoro Method is a great productivity timer:

    Advertising

    Supercharge Your Focus

    The Pomodoro Method is great for training yourself to block out distractions and to concentrate on one thing at a time. By repeating the method over and over again, you can boost your focus levels and tap into your deep thinking skills.

    Manage Expectations

    Because you’re able to measure the time it takes you to complete tasks more accurately, using this method can help you manage expectations.

    You no longer have to fool yourself—or the people you work with—into thinking you can complete a 3-hour task in half an hour, for instance.

    Know the Value of Your Time

    If you’re a freelancer or someone who works on flat rate projects, the Pomodoro Method is a good way to track the time you spend on your work so that you can charge a fee that is truly reflective of the work you do.

    Maintain Your Wellbeing

    Most people who implement the Pomodoro Method are those who are desk-bound, whether working in an office or studying at home or in a library. Because it recommends taking regular breaks, it can reduce your chances of fatigue.

    Advertising

    It gives you the opportunity to reinvigorate your mind and get you ready for the next session of focus.

    Actually Accomplish Goals

    The reason why so many people swear by this productivity timer is because it offers a realistic and achievable goal. Unlike other techniques out there, the success of this particular method comes down to its simplicity and practicality.

    When trying to reach your goals, in addition to using the this productivity timer, check out this free Lifehack Guide: The Dreamers’ Guide for Taking Action and Making Goals Happen. It will give you the boost you need to take your motivation to the next level.

    Things You Can Do During the Breaks

    Now that you understand how the Pomodoro Method works, maybe you’re wondering how to make good use of the breaks. Here are 5 things you can do during the breaks:

    1. Drink Water

    Keeping yourself hydrated is not only one of the most important things you can do for your health, but it can also have a great effect on your focus and concentration. A study conducted by the University of East London in 2013 found that drinking water can increase your productivity by 14%![3]

    Advertising

    2. Move Your Body

    Use the time between the pomodoros to get up and move your body.

    Whether it’s simply walking to the bathroom or getting up from your chair and doing a couple of stretches, it’s vital that you take your eyes away from the screen from time to time and keep active throughout the day.

    Try these 15 Simple And Quick Office Stretches To Boost Work Efficiency.

    3. Go Outside

    If you have the opportunity to go outside, grabbing some fresh air is a great way to spend your breaks. Research has shown that fresh air plays a significant role in maintaining your health as it can reduce the chances of being sick and getting infected.[4]

    While this may not work well in the 5-minute breaks, it’s definitely doable in the longer breaks.

    Advertising

    4. Do Some Chores

    If you’re working or studying at home, then you can spend your time during the productivity timer breaks to complete some quick chores.

    Taking out the trash, checking the mailbox, or washing the dishes are a few examples of things that enable you to do something productive during your breaks.

    5. Check Your Phone

    Because you’ve focused solely on your work during the pomodoros, the breaks in between are a great opportunity to check your phone or email to see if you’ve received any important messages.

    Avoid engaging in social media as it may be tricky to get back into the groove of concentration after break time is up.

    The Bottom Line

    The Pomodoro Method is the best productivity timer because it encourages you to consistently be productive throughout the day through a practical approach. The goal that it asks you to strive for is something realistic and doable for almost anyone who wants to attempt it.

    Advertising

    Being able to shut off distractions and keep yourself focused, whether at work or while studying, is a great skill to possess. Like any other skill, in order to excel at it, you have to practice and develop it, and the Pomodoro timer offers you a good way to do it.

    More Tips on Staying Focused

    Featured photo credit: Jonah Bedford via unsplash.com

    Reference

    More by this author

    Dinnie Muslihat

    Writer, content marketer & productivity enthusiast

    5 Techniques to Tackle a Busy Schedule (And Create More Time) Why the Pomodoro Method Is the Best Productivity Timer How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules How to Write SMART Goals (With SMART Goals Templates) 10 Smart Time Management Techniques to End Busyness

    Trending in Time Management

    1 How a Project Management Mindset Boosts Your Productivity 2 STOP Being Busy and Create More Time with these Productivity Hacks 3 5 Techniques to Tackle a Busy Schedule (And Create More Time) 4 Does the Pomodoro Technique Work for Your Productivity? 5 10 Common Mistakes You Make When Setting Deadlines

    Read Next

    Advertising
    Advertising

    Last Updated on October 21, 2021

    How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

    Advertising
    How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

    Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

    Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

    The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

    Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

    Advertising

    Program Your Own Algorithms

    Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

    Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

    By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

    How to Form a Ritual

    I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

    Advertising

    Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

    1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
    2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
    3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
    4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

    Ways to Use a Ritual

    Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

    1. Waking Up

    Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

    2. Web Usage

    How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

    Advertising

    3. Reading

    How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

    4. Friendliness

    Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

    5. Working

    One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

    6. Going to the gym

    If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

    Advertising

    7. Exercise

    Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

    8. Sleeping

    Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

    8. Weekly Reviews

    The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

    Final Thoughts

    We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

    Advertising

    More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

     

    Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

    Read Next