"It's barely 7:00PM, I'll just reply the next couple of messages then get to work...", I told myself the seventh time.
It was a September evening in 2018, I had to prepare for an interview which was 2 days away from the said day. As important as excellent performance is to me, I had myself caught in between a seamless flow of WhatsApp messages. I knew, I had to call it quit, but I couldn't bring myself to it. I decided to shift between worlds of replying the messages and preparing for the interview every 10minutes. Alas! It worked!
I got to know - the plan of alternating study and replying the messages is a full blown productivity technique called Pomodoro Technique
Literally, pomodoro is the Italian word for 'tomato'.
The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s
The technique is named after the tomato shaped kitchen timer which Cirillo used as a university student
Basically, Promodoro Technique involves breaking down tasks into 25 minutes of work (called pomodoros) 5 minutes break and a 15 - 25 minutes break after each pomodoro
After getting to know about Pomodoro,
- I start out by estimating time allowed for task at hand.
- As opposed to the Cirillo specification I take 7minutes break after each pomodoro and
- a 15-25 minutes break after 4 pomodoros.
The keynote is to perform task at hand for for minutes without yeilding to distractions then take short break after each section (pomodoro)
The Pomodoro Technique is organised into six incremental objectives
Find out how much effort an activity requires
Cut down on interruptions
Usually, you can afford to take 25 minutes before calling back a friend or replying to an email. You’ll learn how to handle the inevitable interruption while staying focused on the task at hand.
Estimate the effort for activities
Once you’ve gotten the hang of the technique, you’ll be able to accurately predict how many Pomodoros it will take to accomplish tomorrow’s -- or next month’s -- tasks.
Make the Pomodoro more effective While the contours of the Pomodoro are set, what you do within them can be adjusted to maximize efficiency. One way to make a Pomodoro more effective is to use the first few minutes to review what you’ve done before. Other methods are discussed in the book.
Set up a timetable
A timetable sets a limit, motivating you to complete a task within a set period of time. It also delineates your work time from your free time. Creating a clear timetable will allow you to enjoy your time off without worrying that you could be doing more work.
Define your own objectives
The Pomodoro Technique is a tool you can use to reach your own objectives. For example, a writer might realize he’s spending too much time revising, and adjust his Pomodoro timetable to allow for more brainstorming time. 1
That's all there is to it, I'm glad you read it all the way down here. Let's take a peek at the keynotes
- estimate time allowed
- Work through each section, Go over the task again untill the pomodro is completed
- take short break to avoid burn out
- take longer break to avoid psychological stress