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Last Updated on April 22, 2020

Why the Pomodoro Method Is the Best Productivity Timer

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 are productivity timers.

Productivity timers are tools 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 method created by Francesco Cirillo in the 1990s that emphasizes timing your work and taking breaks.[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 work 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.

This method works well as a productivity timer because it forces you to focus on one thing at a time. 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.

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Here are 6 simple steps to follow when you want to Pomodoro:

  • Step 1: Pick a task. Remember you can only focus on one thing, so prioritize accordingly.
  • Step 2: Set your timer to 25 minutes. You can simply use the timer on your phone 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 on 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. 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 long. 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’re 5 reasons why the Pomodoro Method is a great productivity timer:

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 to 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.

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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.

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.

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’re 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%![2]

2. Move Your Body

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

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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, then 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.[3]

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

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

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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.

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 Method offers you a good way to do it.

More About Staying Focused

Featured photo credit: Jonah Bedford via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Dinnie Muslihat

Writer, content marketer & productivity enthusiast

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Last Updated on May 26, 2020

Top 10 Reasons Why People Don’t Reach Their Goals

Top 10 Reasons Why People Don’t Reach Their Goals

With everything that happens around us, it is sometimes difficult to reach our goals. This is compounded if you have any of the reasons on the list below.

Luckily, in addition to the top 10 reasons why people don’t reach their goals, I’ve included a quick fix for each of them. So let’s get to it.

1. Creating Vague Goals

When you don’t know where you are going, it is really hard to get there. Many people set themselves up for failure when they set goals that are unclear. “I want to lose weight” sounds like a great goal but the people who set this kind of goal will never reach it. It is not because the people are not motivated or disciplined but because the goal is too general. Do you want to lose 5 lbs or 50 lbs?

Quick Fix:  Set SMART goals by being Specific, making sure they are Measurable, Achievable and Realistic, and last but not least — give yourself a Time deadline. If you want to go one step further, you may want to read The Missing Letter in Your Smart Goals.

2. Lacking a Higher Purpose

Goals can be set on any topic imaginable but if you don’t have a higher purpose, it makes it is easy to give up once the initial motivation and excitement wears off. Understanding how your goal is relevant to you allows you to persevere even when the going gets tough.

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Quick Fix: When setting your SMART goal, ask yourself how the goal is relevant to your life and what you want to achieve.

3. Procrastinating

Even when you have SMART goals that are relevant to your purpose, if you don’t get started, you’ll never achieve your goal. One of the most dangerous phrases is “I’ll do it later.”

Quick Fix: Make sure the goal has been broken down into manageable pieces and then start right away. Here are 11 Practical Ways to Stop Procrastination.

4. Not Taking Responsibility

Things will go wrong. That’s a fact of life. When something comes up and you don’t achieve your goal, who do you blame? Your boss who kept you at work late so you couldn’t work on your book or maybe the horrible weather that stopped you from going to the gym. If it’s not your fault, there is nothing you can do, right?

Quick Fix: Own up to not reaching your goals. When you take responsibility, you’ll become resourceful knowing that you have control over the attainment of your goals.

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5. Listening to People Who Discourage You

When you go for your goals, especially the big ones that really count and fit in with your purpose in life, it is inevitable that people will discourage you. There are many reasons for this: concern, jealousy, ignorance, etc. How many goals have already been given up on because other people decided they were not worth pursuing?

Quick Fix: This one is easy. As long as you know the purpose for your goal, ignore the naysayers. You can take what they are saying into consideration but make sure you make the final choice.

6. Starting Too Many Projects

I’m a starter. That sounds like a good thing but not when you start too many things, you don’t end up finishing many of them. This usually stems from the fear of missing out (FOMO) or being someone who has many ideas.

Quick Fix: Understand that you have a limited amount of time and that you can’t do everything. To deal with FOMO, realize that by not finishing, you are missing out on all the opportunities that open up when you finish the projects you are working on.

7. Being Negative

If you think you’re not going to make it, then you’re probably not going to make it. If you don’t believe you’re going to reach your goal, then when you fail, it is expected which makes it easy to stop trying. When you are optimistic and a setback occurs, you focus your energy on finding solutions because you truly believe there is one. If you believe that you suffer from bad luck, check out this article.

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Quick Fix: Consider the idea that optimism and pessimism are both expectations of the future. Each are equally likely to be true but which belief will help you lead a happier more fulfilled life? Instead of wasting your energy on complaining, spend that energy on learning.

8. Being Selfish

There are people out there that think it is silly to help others. They believe in taking and not giving. They are misers with their time, money and knowledge and are only interested in opportunities where they stand to benefit. Most big goals require the help of others and it is very difficult to help people who only care about taking.

Quick Fix: Serve others first. Always look for ways to add value to other people.

9. Surrounding Yourself with People Who Don’t Reach Their Goals

You are who you associate with. This may be hard to swallow for some people and there are always exceptions to the rule but for the most part, we act in accordance with the people around us. This comes from the strong ad natural desire to belong and to be accepted (think of all the dumb things you did in high school just to fit in).

Quick Fix: Associate with people who always reach their goals.

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10. Watching Too Much TV

Not all TV is bad but if you are watching TV then most likely you are not doing anything to move one step closer to your goal. The problem with TV these days is that it is captivating. There are programs for all interests and hobbies and the shows keep getting better and better. Those who watch alot of TV usually don’t reach their goals and perhaps people watch TV because they don’t have any goals.

Quick Fix: Shut off the TV. Cancel the cable. Pick up a book that will help you move one step closer to your goal. Here are 6 Steps to Remove TV from your Life.

Do you have anything to add? What do you think are the reasons why people don’t reach their goals and what are your thought about the 10 reasons we have listed here. Feel free to give your own effective quick fixes for the different reasons in the comments section below.

Featured photo credit: Kyle Glenn via unsplash.com

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