One of the things I started using in college and was such a game changer that I continued using was the Pomodoro Technique.
What is it?
Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s created what is called The Pomodoro Technique. He wanted to help improve with his studies by making it less of a hassle.
So he commited for 10 minutes of focused study time. He used a tomato (pomodoro, in italian) shaped kitchen timer.
The technique is simple:
- Get a todo-list + timer
- Set timer for 25 minutes, focus on a single task until the timer hits
- When that session is over, mark “one pomodoro” and record what you completed.
- Enjoy a 5 minute break
- After 4 pomodoros, take a longer break, 10 – 25 minutes.
How I use the Pomodoro Technique
- My timing
- 50 minutes of work followed by 10 minutes of rest
- Every 4 blocks of work, 25 minutes of rest
- The time may vary between every type of person, but here’s how I tweaked it to work for me.
- Breaks must be without any screens (computer, tv, cellphone)
- Breaks can consist of meditation, light walking, reading pages in a book
- It’s important to me to use one source of place to use pomodoro, so I have the PomoFocus app on my desktop computer.
- It’s also important that breaks I need to consciously start, while work after the break starts automatically (or else I’ll forever postpone with any reason I can think of).
- It is easier to get up to work after a break if the timer starts automatically.
- Size of a work block
- If I’m in a good place mentally I tend to push well over 50 minutes on my first work block of the day, sometimes I can go uninterrupted for 2 hours.
- But if I’m working on something that is really frustrating me, I tend to divide my work blocks for 40 minutes at a time, and I take my breaks religiously.