Photo Credit: Michael Zero Mayer via Flickr
The Pomodoro Technique is designed to help you increase your productivity by improving the way you use your time gradually. And this is another fun way to learn time management.
This time management technique uses a kitchen timer in the form of a "pomodoro" which is the Italian word for tomato and the method was invented by Francesco Cirillo.
First of all you’ll only need three basic things: paper, pencil and a kitchen timer. If you cannot acquire a physical kitchen timer, you can use a software program by downloading and installing it to your computer or Smartphone.
Step by step procedure:
1. Create three columns on the sheet of paper.
2. In the first column, write down the activity you have to finish like: "Create a lesson plan for Biology." Of course you can write more activities using the next rows of the paper.
3. The second column should be used to put markings on interruptions whenever you encounter them during work. You could use the " / " or " ’ " symbols for every distraction such as call reminder, noise from neighbors, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
4. The last column should be used to mark an " X " whenever each 25 minute timer or pomodoro gets finished.
Sample of a list:
Create a lesson plan for biology | / / | X
Organize my room | / | X X
You should know that the purpose of the Pomodoro Technique is to increase focus and concentration when doing an activity while reducing the feelings of anxiety and lack of accomplishment.
The objective of improving personal productivity is done by setting the kitchen timer to 25 mins. Within this 25 mins. period, you should do your best to finish a certain task or activity while trying to avoid distractions.
In a sense, this 25 minutes give you the motivation to finish your task faster. If you’re not able to finish the task within 25 mins. and your time is over, you’ll have to take a 5 minute break first before you start another 25 min. pomodoro or kitchen timer.
The 5 min. break during intervals between 2 pomodoros or kitchen timers would help you to relax and recondition yourself while re-focusing your thoughts. It should help relieve some stress.
The technique is designed to avoid "loss of motivation" while improving the efficiency and speed of your work.
Whenever a task is too long and you’ve already spent 4 kitchen timers which is 100 minutes in total, you’ll have to take a 20 min. break before you continue with a 5th pomodoro or kitchen timer for a certain activity.
The Pomodoro Technique can also be applied during team activities. Whenever there’s a group activity, members can cooperate in doing the task while complying to the kitchen timer or pomodoro rules as long as everyone is willing to cooperate.
The result can be impressive because a large task or activity will be finished in a shorter period of time and future group activities will be improved.
When everyone is willing to cooperate using this method, there will be better team work and creativity developed because everyone will be sharing their ideas and resources.
Using this technique can be fun at the same time challenging. As you apply this method on your personal activities more and more, you’ll notice that your activities will require lesser time because you’re already improving your time management.
Whenever you completed a certain task and your 25 min. is not over yet, you can review and recap your work or task to "polish" it or improve the quality.
You can become a Certified Pomodoro Master as you develop yourself with the Technique and this can be something to be proud of.
The Pomodoro Technique is another skill and time management strategy that can help you accomplish more with less time. Following the rules and doing your best will make it effective and serve its purpose well. "Practice makes perfect" as saying goes and it is true.