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.
Table of Contents
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. 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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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
- The Pomodoro Technique: Is It Right for You to Boost Productivity?
- How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)
- How to Concentrate and Focus Better to Boost Productivity
- How to Not Get Distracted: 10 Practical Tips to Sharpen Your Focus
Featured photo credit: Jonah Bedford via unsplash.com
|||^||Francesco Cirillo: The Pomodoro Technique|
|||^||gtp hub: New Study Shows Drinking Water Can Increase Productivity by 14 Percent|
|||^||Harvard Business Review: Research: Stale Office Air Is Making You Less Productive|