Picture of coloured tomatoes to emphasise the pomodoro technique for small business productivity

 

Which one is more important to you – time management or productivity?

Like me, you’re probably shouting ‘both!’.

You might be surprised to discover that changing how you use just 25 minutes of your time can help you be more productive and manage your workload better.

Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?

But the Pomodoro technique has been used successfully since the 1990’s – it’s only now that secret is being shared.

Pomodoro is a 25-minute work busting technique that encourages focus and attention to detail

Picture of a cartoon tomato timer because pomodoro is Italian for tomato

If you’re wondering what the tomatoes are all about… Pomodoro is Italian for tomato!

The principle behind Pomodoro is simple – you work in short bursts on tasks throughout your working day with frequent breaks.

One Pomodoro cycle is made up of a focused 25 minute work session followed immediately with a  5-minute break.

After a cycle of 4 Pomodoro’s you take an extended break.

That’s probably the easy part in all honesty. Are you ready for the tricky bit?

You must limit distractions and focus solely on one task.

That means closing your email and social media tabs, putting your phone on silent, and warning anyone around to leave you alone (the ‘or else’ is entirely optional but I find it rather fun!)

The good news is that during your breaks you should get as far away from the computer as possible, recharge your batteries and reassure your colleagues/family/friends that you’re not really a grump.

Can restructuring my time and breaks using Pomodoro be enough to improve my productivity?

Yes, it really can!

If it helps you to look at it from a different perspective, consider the interval training that athletes use to improve their speed and technique.

Professional athletes will train intensively in short bursts, take a break and then do another burst.

Sound familiar?

During those intensive bursts, you’re working harder and with more focus, enabling you to blitz through those difficult tasks and recoup some time from your day.

It sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? But I’ve tried it and it really does work!

What’s the best way to get started using the Pomodoro technique?

I recommend that you head over to https://tomato-timer.com/ – which is a Pomodoro timer you can run on your computer as you work.

Choose the trickiest task of your day and have a think about how long you think it’ll take you.

Now, get to work on it using the Pomodoro technique. Make sure you’re getting up for a quick walk and stretch in those 5-minute breaks!

When you’ve finished, take a note of how many Pomodoro cycles you’ve worked through.

Did it take you as long as you thought it would?

Picture of a clock to enforce that Pomodoro technique is great for small business owners tackling time management problems

I’m going to hazard a guess that it’s taken you less, and as you get used to working the Pomodoro way you’ll save more and more time.

It’s also a useful way of pricing tasks for clients if you typically charge by the hour. Knowing exactly how many Pomodoro cycles a task will take enables you to give a specific quote with confidence.

Have you tried Pomodoro before? Got any tips or tricks to make it even more effective? Comment below and make sure you share this blog if you think your friends and networking buddies will find it useful.