Focus and flow with the Pomodoro technique

The Pomodoro technique is a simple way to increase your productivity and is particularly useful when working from home. You work in intervals of focused work with breaks of rest away from your desk. The breaks help your brain focus, gives space to assimilation new information or incubate new ideas, builds in time for you to make a coffee or use the toilet, and provides an opportunity for movement breaks.

The basic idea 

  1. Select a task or set of tasks
  2. Set a timer for 25 minutes
  3. Get your head down and work uninterrupted until the timer goes off 
  4. Take a 5-minute break away from your desk before starting step one again. 
  5. After a set of 4 Pomodoros, you give your self a 15-30 minute break.

Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.

Parkinson’s law

The six objectives

Once you are in the habit of separating your working day into Pomodoros, the 25-minute work intervals and breaks, work through the six objectives in sequence, only moving one once you have mastered the current objective.

  1. Time tracking – Become great at estimating how long tasks will take by tracking how many Pomodoros you need to complete all your focused work.
  2. Lazer Focus – Protect your work interval from all interruptions, extend the breaks to call people back or deal with emerging issues, but when you work you work.
  3. Estimate time needs for all tasks – Use your estimation skills gained from objective one to estimate how many Pomodoros you need for all activities in your todo list.
  4. Make your work interval more effective – Start your work interval with a few minutes to recap what you have done and end it with a review.
  5. Create a schedule – Plan out each day according to your todos and time available, scheduling in Pomodoro sessions in the slots available between commitments.
  6. Create your a personal objective – Come up with an objective that will make you more focused or better find time to complete your work.

Learn more in the Pomodoro Technique Handbook by its creator Francesco Cirillo.

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