What Is The Pomodoro Technique? A Step By Step Guide

What Is The Pomodoro Technique? A Step By Step Guide

Quality or quantity, which one do you think matters the most? Write your answer in the comment section. For my case, though, I would like to focus on quality rather than quantity. However, today, the digitization of everything and the rapid demand requires us to be more effective.

A normal man may give a poor output after working for two to five hours straight. But with the help of a simple system, which we call the Pomodoro technique, you can give a similar output without changing the work hours. 

It is a very effective time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. He wrote, “I discovered that you could learn how to improve your effectiveness and be better able to estimate how long a task will take to complete by recording how you utilize your time”. Pomodoro is an Italian word that means Tomato. Cirillo used a tomato-shaped kitchen timer as a university student, and that’s how it got the name. 

How the Pomodoro Technique Works

When we do something continuously, our efficiency decreases. But taking breaks can help us to boost our energy and work again. These breaks are not very long, but short ones. In the Pomodoro technique, we divide the work into smaller time intervals, traditionally twenty-five minutes. Each Interval is known as Pomodoro, and after each of them, we take a short break. It is a simple but powerful method for getting things done.  

How to Use

Here is a step by step guide on how to use the Pomodoro Technique,

  1. At first, choose a task that you want to do. It could be anything, from homework to writing a book. 
  2. Set a timer, traditionally twenty-five minutes, but you can choose thirty minutes or more, as per your capabilities. I suggest you first experiment with different intervals, then pick the most suitable one. It will not help you if you choose a three hours interval/Pomodoro. I suggest you increase the limit slowly with time.
  3. Start doing the work. Don’t distract and do your in hand task with focus. No, you can’t check your mail or anything related to the phone, and not related to the work. You would need an undivided focus. I suggest you first collect everything that is going to need for the task.
  4. After the buzzer hits, get a small break of three to five minutes. During this period, you can use the bathroom, drink water, stretch a bit, or do anything that will relieve you. 
  5. Now repeat this process. And after four Pomodoros, take a longspun break of fifteen to thirty minutes. You can use this time for walking outside to freshen your mood. Or do anything that can help you to get a bit of relaxation from the stress. Please don’t check your phone and remind the brain, “The work is not complete!”
  6. Remember to use your imagination. Don’t just follow the steps blindly and customize it according to your need. Like, if you need a long break after three sessions, then take it. Or if you want to increase the break time, then do it. 

Things To Remember 

  1. Four Intervals form a set.
  2. An Interval is called a Pomodoro. 
  3. After each, take a fifteen to twenty minutes break before starting a new Pomodoro Cycle. 
  4. If something disrupts during the Pomodoro (Interval), you have to postpone it or abandon the Pomodoro. If there is an unavoidable disruption, then take the five-minute break and start again. Record the interruptions, and take precautions to avoid them in the future. 
  5. I advise you to dedicate some time to review and edit the work you just completed. 

Tips For Getting Most Out Of A Pomodoro

Compile small tasks – To check your What’s app messages or email, do you need four sessions of twenty-five minutes? No, Nah! But this technique can still be helpful to complete those tasks. Just shortlist some of your small chores, then block a chunk of time, and do it with a span of four intervals (or as your required). This approach can help you to clear all of your daily mundane works without getting too much tired. I will suggest you cluster the same type of jobs in one Pomodoro session. 

Breakdown Hard Tasks Into Smaller Parts – Dividing a challenging job into small actionable parts can decrease friction. You can assign a whole or portion of an interval to a piece of the entire work. This type of planning can make it more tangible and possible. An example may be writing a three thousand word article. I will not suggest completing it in one day, but if you need to finish it in a day, then use this approach. 

You may give the first one or two intervals for doing the research. Then, give each twenty-five minute an assigned number of words to complete. It depends on your capacity, so I will not mention any exact number of Pomodoros. After that, do the work and don’t forget to take small breaks. 

Don’t Over Do! It is important to remember and find your limit. To become a limit breaker, you have to increase your limit bit by bit, not make a sudden big jump. Sometimes we overestimate our capabilities to do things when we have limited time and underestimate what we can do when we work systematically.

If you think that “there is so much time, I can start writing this article or project from tomorrow.” That tomorrow never comes. We need a system to accomplish any task with efficiency. So don’t push yourself. Use Pomodoro wisely, not emotionally. Try to avoid procrastination and set practical goals. Remember the moral from the story, “Rabbit And Turtle”, “Slow And Steady Wins The Race.”

Use What Left – If you finished your work, but the timer is still ticking, and you’ve some time left, then use that remaining time for overlearning about the subject (or learn something else) and make minute improvements. I am not a supporter of perfectionism but quality, so give the task your best possible during the reserved time. 

Plan It Early –  Planning can be helpful. Plan your entire day the night before, and give each time task the required Pomodoros. If anything is overlapping the decided time frame, then use the extra Pomodoros. Yes, that’s means you have to count those extras during the planning. After finishing all your tasks, if you don’t need those extra Pomodoros, use them for something else…

Be Creative – No person is the same, and that’s why we need a different approach from person to person. I use thirty minutes intervals, and my sets are consists of three Pomodoros rather than four. That’s mean, before starting a new set or resume to the same work: I take fifteen minutes to break after one hour thirty minutes.

Maybe something works for me, but that does not mean the same thing will work for you. As I said earlier in this article, use this technique to your convenience. And as you are using it for yourself, don’t forget to use creativity. Explore the possibilities of how you can upgrade the Pomodoro technique. 

Watch The Video –

I Don’t Use Pomodoro During Writing.

Yes, this is a true statement. I am writing this article about the Pomodoro Technique, which has over two thousand words, and still, I don’t use it! Am I a hypocrite? If you notice, we all are hypocrites in that sense. But before leaving the article, please read this section to the end, here you’ll find some wisdom, which you should know.

I don’t use the Pomodoro technique during writing, it is correct, and there is a good reason for that. Pomodoro is a great technique but not for me when I am writing. Writing is my passion, and disruption can disturb my flow. To protect it, I only take a break when it is necessary.

I use Pomodoros for other things like reading a book. I like to read books, but sometimes it becomes difficult to focus. And as reading is not related to creating anything, it is more challenging to get into the flow state. 

Yes, you may argue that we create thoughts, new ideology when reading a book. But question yourself, if you read some self-help books, isn’t after a point most of the things you just rereading. I am not arguing that there is nothing new to understand, but that portion is low.

It is actually like the GDP of a nation. If it is developing, then the GDP will grow exponentially. But after it becomes a developed nation, the growth rate will decline. Likewise, if you are starting reading, then there will be many new things to know. But after a point, new things will come slowly.

You can experience exponential growth once more, but that takes time, and a new phase of learning will begin. Maybe with a new book or a YouTube video or something else, the trigger could be anything. 

Pomodoro is just another tool for me that can help me to do work more efficiently. That means I am the user and use it where I need it.

Also Read: How To Be More Productive – 20 Ways to Increase Your Productivity

QNA 

I found some questions during a google search. Here are the questions and answers –

Why Does The Pomodoro Technique Works?

There is a technique called kaizen. It helps us to beat procrastination and start doing something or building a habit. The process is simple; you only need to take a small step towards the work. How small? As small as reading one word for learning a language! Pomodoro is similar to kaizen, where we divide the work into less intimidating parts.

I think that when we divide our work and time into parts, our brain fears them less. Try this experiment, take five books and put them vertically, one above another. Now take those same books and put them side by side. Which is more overwhelming? When we see a task on its whole, our brain fears it more. So parts do help. 

Ask someone to choose to do a job for five hours straight or ten intervals of twenty-five minutes with a break after each of them. See which one that person chose. 

Not only that, doing something for a long time can be monotonous, and breaks can help you to rejuvenate. However, this is just my thinking, and tell me in the comment section if you agree with it or not. 

What do you do in the 5-minute Pomodoro break?

Anything! If you can do something in five minutes and if it could freshen your mood, then do it. Here I will like to suggest; don’t use your break for work. You can use this time to do stretches, walk, drinking water, using the bathroom etc. But never check your phone. Your smartphone will hook you, and then everything will spoil. (If your work is related to the mobile phone, then use an app blocker to block all unimportant apps.)

Does the Pomodoro technique actually work?

I don’t know about anybody else, but for me, it has beneficial effects. After using this technique, now I can focus more deeply on your work. If you want to find out if it works for you or not, then the best way to get the answer is by application. Apply this method and if it works for you, then continue. If it doesn’t, then don’t continue. As simple as that. 

What is the best Pomodoro time?

It depends, but traditionally we use a timer of twenty-five minutes. I usually set thirty minutes. I don’t make a set of four Pomodoros but three. It means I take fifteen minutes to break after One Hour Thirty Minutes (three intervals), not after two hours. But it depends from person to person. 

I would suggest you first find how much time you can give your undivided attention to a task. If it is fifteen minutes, then set a timer of fifteen. If it is one hour, then set it for that amount. You’ve to be practical, or there will be no use of all the planning. 

Is Pomodoro Free?

Yes, it is a technique that I heard in videos, books and articles. Then later did the research and now writing this article. 

How many Pomodoros can you do in a day?

It depends on your work and how much time you are putting in a single Pomodoro. It is not medicine; that’s why you can use this technique everywhere. But I will encourage you not to use this technique all the time. Sometimes do things without any planning. It will save you from monotony. 

Which Pomodoro app is the best?

You can use any timer, even that which comes in your phone preinstalled. But if you need a Pomodoro Timer, I will suggest apps like EngrossFocus TimerForest etc. 

Example 

Let’s say you have to clean and redesign your house by the end of the week. There are two things you can do, complete the task in one day, or you can take the whole week. You can take seven to eight Pomodoros for completing the work in a day. But let’s choose the second option. 

Then you divide your task into different parts, dedicating each one to each day. The first day you decided to clean your bookshelf and estimated that it takes you one Pomodoro of thirty minutes to do that. So you decided to include some other daily chores like doing the laundry or cleaning the floor etc. 

The second day you decided to clean your living room and estimated it takes you two Pomodoros of forty minutes to do that. You decided to take a long break of thirty minutes after three Pomodoros. Then continue other works on the other days related to your home cleaning using the same planning.  

Conclusion 

Pomodoro Technique is a powerful method to do work more effectively and avoid procrastination. You can use it for tasks like; doing homework, studying, reading a book, writing a book or even doing daily house chores. But this is just a tool, and it is for your benefit. Use it wisely.

As I said earlier, you can use it for writing a blog post, but I don’t do that. Because I don’t like the disruption between my writing, and it disturbs the flow. It’s my preference, and yours may be different. Use the technique mindfully and don’t follow something because everybody is following. 

I hope you liked this article, and if you did, then don’t forget to share it on your social handles. You can also subscribe to my YouTube channel (https://youtube.com/flairpoint) for thought-provoking contents like this one. 

Thank You. 🙂

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