Do you ever find your energy ebbing when you’ve been working on the same thing for too long? You’re not alone! Working for long periods of time without breaks can be taxing on the brain. And pushing through periods of fatigue may mean you’re working much less efficiently than if you were to take a break and come back to the task later.
If that sounds like you, you may want to consider using the Pomodoro time management method. It’s a technique that involves breaking down your work time into intervals to give you the breaks you need to be most productive.
According to the Pomodoro Technique, working in 25-minute increments followed by short breaks can work wonders. I follow it often myself, and I find I get a lot done and avoid burnout.
In this post, I’ll share exactly how to use this method to take your productivity to the next level.
You may be wondering how the Pomodoro method got its name. It was first developed by Francesco Cirillo who used a tomato-shaped kitchen timer to time his intervals. Pomodoro is the Italian word for tomato, and the name stuck.
To use the Pomodoro Technique, follow these steps:
Step #1. Choose a task to work on.
Start by choosing a task to work on. This doesn’t have to be something you can complete in 25 minutes. But the key is for it to be one single task, versus multi-tasking.
Some examples of tasks I work on are:
- Writing a blog post.
- Editing, preparing and then scheduling a blog post. (I do these steps sequentially.)
- Responding to emails. (Each email may take from 1 to 20 minutes to respond to, but I do them back to back to take advantage of being in the flow.)
- Writing an email newsletter to my email list. (You can sign up here!)
- Working on a new product.
- Packing orders for my Etsy shop.
Pick one task, and get ready to get to work!
Step #2. Set a timer for 25 minutes.
You can either set a timer on your phone, on a physical timer like an egg timer, or through a browser extension. I use Marinara: Pomodoro Assistant for Chrome and love it since an alert pops up on my screen when it’s time to take a break. It’s also free!
Step #3. Work on the task.
Get to work! You can listen to music or put on some background noise if that helps you get in the groove.
Step #4. When you hear the timer ring, take a 5-minute break.
If you work at a computer or desk, I’d recommend getting up and either stretching, going for a little walk (even around your office!) or completing a task away from the computer (like folding laundry). It can be tempting to just turn off the timer and keep working, but giving yourself a break will make you more productive when you return to the task.
Step #5. After four 25-minute work intervals, take a longer break of 15-30 minutes.
Once you’ve worked for four 25-minute intervals (each with a 5 minute break), two hours will have passed. (If you’re using something like Marinara: Pomodoro Assistant for Chrome, it will tell you.) It’s now time for a longer break! Take at least 15 minutes off. Now would be a good time to grab a snack, go for a walk, or just veg out. You can also stop working at this point for lunch or for a workout. Whatever you do, make it a decent-sized break!
If you try the Pomodoro method, leave a comment and let us know how it goes. And for more tips on productivity, grab my FREE guide for How to Supercharge Your Productivity. You can find it in my Resource Library under the Planning and Productivity section when you sign up below.