I Tried The Pomodoro Technique: Here’s What Happened

On a mission to be more mindful and productive whilst working from home, I came across the Pomodoro Technique online and it seemed like something useful I could implement into my 8-4 schedule. I am a stickler for time management, always worrying there isn’t enough time in the day to get all of my jobs and work done, so with the opportunity to try something new to adapt my working style, it made sense.

At the time, it had been around five weeks since I’d been working from home. Although I had been excited about the opportunity to have the flexibility to ‘set up camp’ with a home office environment, the monotonous routine soon became incredibly boring and I would struggle to concentrate. I like to see myself as someone who can focus on tasks once I set my mind on them, but like most of us who are willing to admit, I am definitely guilty of procrastinating.

It’s quite easy to pick up your phone when you are (or think you are) bored and waste time aimlessly scrolling, not really achieving anything. So if you are searching for a method to incorporate into your working week, here is where the Pomodoro Technique comes in.

*What is the Pomodoro Technique?
The technique is essentially a time management schedule that pushes you to focus on one task for a set amount of time:

First choose a piece of work you would like to complete and set a timer for 25 minutes, solidly focusing on that task for the allotted time. This means no distractions from your phone or tablet.

When the timer rings you can take a break from your work, ticking a box for one completed ‘Pomodoro’ then make a cup of tea, have a stretch or maybe meditate, whatever suits you. It doesn’t matter if you don’t complete the entire task in the 25 minutes, simply come back from your well earned break and start the timer again.

Once you have completed four ‘Pomodoros’ you can have a slightly longer break, 20 minutes or 30 is a reasonable amount.

How successful was the Pomodoro Technique?
As a self-proclaimed organisation queen, I think this way of working really suited my usual working style. I have always come into the office and written a ‘to do’ list to set myself up for the day ahead, paired with countless Trello boards to keep my tasks in check.

Intially, I was worried I would get overwhelmed because a timer was ticking and I would feel under pressure to get the task done as quickly as possible. However, it encouraged me to prioritise my list, focusing on urgent tasks instead of leaving them to the back of the pile with our little friend, procrastination.

The technique mentions ticking a box for each completed ‘Pomodoro’ which I didn’t really do, but I know full well how satisfying crossing something off my ‘to do’ list is! By focusing fully on tasks for a set period of time it really helps to split up the day, and with the inclusion of breaks that many of us forget to take I noticed I wasn’t feeling drained and full of headache from staring at a computer screen.

It’s worth considering that timed work slots may not be successful for everyone, especially if the task you want to get stuck in to is dependent on your mood. The technique triumphed if I was in a good mood that day and already feeling productive, but I am determined to keep going as I notice an improvement in my attitude to my performance each day.

Until next time,
Neneh x

*Read all about the Pomodoro Technique on their official website

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