Once working with one manager who noticed the huge effects of using the Pomodoro technique, I asked him to describe exactly what it looked like before and after she implemented it in her day to day. She told me something like this:
I used to reply to one email. I would write a few sentences and now I needed an attachment that I received in another email. I switched to the inbox view and see that in the meantime two new messages arrived. I look at both - nothing urgent. I forgot what I was doing. So I return to the email I wrote and I remember that I was supposed to look for an attachment. I return once again to the main view of the inbox and....
Does this sound familiar to you? Constant distraction, doing many things at once, frequent context changes not only cost us the loss of productivity, but also completely destroy the sense of job satisfaction. To help people who are stuck in such a situation comes a technique called "Pomodoro", from a tomato-shaped kitchen timer, the use of which in this technique was first proposed by Francesco Cirillo.
What is pomodoro technique?
When people read about the Pomodoro technique, they are surprised that it is so simple. In a nutshell, it is about:
Creating a transparent list of tasks to be completed in the near future,
e.g .: I will answer Mathilde, make a shopping list, clean the desk, vacuum the room
Set the timer to ring in 25 minutes.
It can be an alarm clock, kitchen timer or a special application. Turn off all distractions and work on tasks from the list.
If there is a new idea or any distraction, write it down to do later and go back to the tasks from the list.
When the alarm rings, finish work and take a 5-minute break.
It's good when the break requires some movement, like standing up, getting coffee, etc.
After the break, we can do another "Pomodoro", or 25 minutes of focus, but after four Pomodoro in a row you need to take a longer break (ex. 30-40 minutes).
In short: we set a plan, limit time, move on and turn off distractions, finally a break.
Some get a pair of these 25-minute "Pomodoro sessions" during the day, while others just need one in order to "Get things done"
So, basically, you have to write down what exactly you have to do so as not to think about it later. It can be one big thing (e.g. writing an article in my case) or a few shorter tasks (e.g. mentioned e-mails, cleaning the desk or creating a shopping list). Secondly, we set the alarm clock for 25 minutes and start working, taking on the first task from the list.
The vast majority of problems with Pomodoro are just a reaction to distractions. After a few minutes of action, a WhatsApp message may come (you don't read it?), your phone may ring (you won't answer?), someone will come to your desk at work to ask you a question (will you tell her to leave?), Replying to the e-mail you will see that a new one has arrived ( will you try to hold on and not look at it?), the cell phone buzzing about a new notification (will be able to not look at it?), a new great idea appears in your head (won't you open the browser and start looking for information?).
If you want to successfully use this technique or any of its derivatives, you need to deal with this topic at the very beginning, and then patiently and systematically improve it. A large group of people who start using Pomodoro and see its effects or uninstall some applications from their phone to avoid the flood of notifications or mute the device during the Pomodoro session.