The Pomodoro Technique:

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The Pomodoro Technique

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The best time management tool to improve your productivity.

When I first heard about the Pomodoro Technique, I was skeptical. It was first explained to me by a digital nomad from Germany a few years back at a Thai language school I attended in Bangkok, Thailand.

He told me the idea behind it was to just focus on working for a set period of time, and then take a brief break. This didn’t make much sense to me since my mindset was to work on my creative endeavors when my mind was in the zone and take a break when my mind needed a rest.

Unfortunately, in the past there were many enticing distractions in my life that caused my mind to request a break from my creative endeavors, and refocus my attention on distractions that were time wasting, unproductive, and lasted quite a bit longer than they should have.

I decided to give this Pomodoro technique an honest try to see if it would be an effective time-management strategy for me to increase my productivity. How difficult could it be to try something new that only required me to completely focus for a short period of time, I can do this.

I gave the Pomodoro Technique a try for almost a week and discovered it increased my productivity substantially.

The Pomodoro Technique

Who created the Pomodoro Technique?

The Pomodoro was created in the late 1980s by Francesco Cirillo. Francesco was a university student who was trying to find a way to increase his productivity and focus on completing his assignments in a timely manner.

Francesco Cirillo discovered a method that allowed him to focus his attention on his task In short bursts and taking a brief break in between them. He named this technique the Pomodoro Technique after the tomato (Pomodoro in Italian) shaped timer he used to track his short bursts of work, and breaks.

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How does the Pomodoro Technique work?

The idea behind the Pomodoro Technique is to work for a set amount of time, then take a quick break from your task.

There are four steps to the Pomodoro Technique:

1: Decide on a creative task you want to accomplish, such as writing an article, or a not so creative task such as cleaning your kitchen.

2: Set a timer for 25 minutes. Francesco Cirillo used a tomato shaped timer to count down 25 minutes of focused work. You can use our cell phone to count down 25 solid minutes of work time.

3: Focus on working on your task, and nothing else. Don’t check on Facebook, or respond to messages during that 25 minute time period that you are focusing on your task.

4: Stop working when the timer goes off 25 minutes later. You focused on the task you set for yourself, and now it is time for a quick reward. Take a five minute break. Don’t just stay in your work area. Get up and walk away from what you are doing.

These steps are known as a unit of Pomodoro. After you complete four units of Pomodoro, take a 30 minute break.

Your task must require at least 25 minutes to complete, or else it needs to be combined with other tasks so you are getting the most productivity out of your Pomodoro unit. Don’t try to stretch a 10 minute task into 25 minutes and tell yourself it was a productive Pomodoro. You can’t lie to yourself.

If your task will honestly require more than four Pomodoro units to complete, then break it down into more manageable tasks to keep yourself from becoming overwhelmed.

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How can the Pomodoro Technique help with writing?

If writer’s block is causing you to procrastinate, the Pomodoro Technique will help you to focus your attention for a short 25 minute burst of time to accomplish your writing task.

If you are writing an article for your blog, then you should easily be able to finish it within four Pomodoro units. If you are writing a novel, you will have to break the Pomodoro Technique down into chapters. Try one series of Pomodoro’s, or four Pomodoro units per chapter, and you will finish your novel quickly enough to win NaNoWriMo.

We all know that it is difficult to maintain our focus while we are trying to write our story, with the many distractions that entice us. By using the Pomodoro Technique we can more easily maintain our focus and complete any writing task in 25 minute segments.

Writing with a focused mind for 25 minutes and then walking away is a good way to keep your creativity flowing. You will find the five minute break to reset our mind very beneficial.

Keep Writing.

R.G. Ramsey

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