How A Tomato Can Make You More Productive
Sounds weird, right?
You don’t even have to like tomatoes for it to work.
But before we get into the specifics there… have you ever been overwhelmed with the amount of work you have?
How about that huge pile of papers on your desk that you have yet to go through? I let mine pile up a little too often.
If I were to estimate how long it would take me to go through it all, then try to find that amount of time and schedule it in my calendar, it’d get pushed back indefinitely.
However, if I were to block out a short amount of time every so often when I can give 100% focus to the task, I could probably breeze through it a piece at a time over a few days.
Progress Is About Focused Action
Having a set amount of time with intense focus on a single task — with no distractions — makes for an excellent way to get a lot done on a project.
But focusing for a long time can be challenging. And who wants to experiment with all sorts of systems?
(Well, I do… and then I write about them on this blog so you don’t have to!)
Let me introduce you to…
The Pomodoro Technique.
What is it? According to the official website…
The Pomodoro Technique® is a time management method. This Technique helps you to transform time into a valuable ally by helping you accomplish what you want to do…
The basics are that you work with intense focus for 25 minutes, and then take a break for 5.
That’s pretty much all you need to know to get started.
Rather than focusing on how much work you need to do, you can focus on working for just 25 minutes at a time. It never seems overwhelming.
Just plan your day with your Pomodoro sessions and what task or project you’re working on for each. Then grab a timer, turn on some music, and you’re good to go!
So where does the tomato fit in to all this!?
The technique was developed by Francesco Cirillo using a tomato-shaped kitchen timer. Pomodoro is the Italian word for tomato.
You can learn more about it at The Pomodoro Technique website.
You Don’t Need A Tomato-Shaped Timer To Start
The technique has really caught on in the tech world. And programmers didn’t want to set a timer for 25 minutes, then reset it to 5, then back to 25. And you shouldn’t have to either. So they built apps!
The simplest way to have your Pomodoro session is just click a button to start each timer…
You can do that with the online app Tomato Timer.
Just open your browser to it and click start. Then click on the short break tab when the timer goes off. It also has a long break option which is 15 minutes. The Pomodoro Technique advises to do 4 pomodoros (25 work, 5 min break each), but after that you should do a longer break of 15 minutes before coming back.
You can experiment with what works best for you.
I like scheduling a 1 to 2.5 hours for a project, then setting my Pomodoro timer. And suddenly I’ve gotten plenty done without too much thinking or distraction!
It may be a challenge at first, buy after a day or two you’ll get the hang of it. You also may notice an increased ability to focus.
Have fun being more productive!
I’d love to hear how the Pomodoro Technique works for you after you’ve tried it. Leave a comment below!
Photo: “Tomatoes” by the ewan