Have you tried the Pomodoro technique?
Invented in the late 1980’s, by then university student Francesco Cirillo, the Pomodoro technique is a simple time management technique that breaks projects into 25-minute intervals, or “Pomodoro’s”, followed by a 5-minute break. Named after the tomato shaped timer Cirillo used when the idea was born, the absurdity of using a tomato to represent chunks of time belies the method’s status as one of the most effective productivity hacks used around the world today.
The idea is simple-
• Pick one project or task you want to focus on.
• Set a timer for 25 minutes, and start working
• When the time is up, take a 5-minute break.
• After four sessions, take a longer break, about 25-30 minutes.
This method is useful for breaking unapproachable tasks into manageable chunks and remaining accountable for your progress with them. A 25-minute segment is long enough of a time to get some work done, but not so long that it feels overwhelming or hard to maintain.
To get the most out of the technique it is important to remember that each 25-minute segment is indivisible, which means that if you’re interrupted halfway through by a co-worker, impromptu meeting, or emergency, you must either end the current pomodoro (saving your work and starting a new one later) or postpone the interruption until your current segment of time is complete. Cirillo supplements his Pomodoro technique with the “inform, negotiate, and call back” method, if you can postpone it easily:
• Inform the distraction that you’re working on something currently.
• Negotiate a time when you can get back to them about the issue.
• Schedule the follow up and call back the other party when your Pomodoro is complete and you’re ready to tackle their task.
Don’t worry too much about how many Pomodoros you complete in a day. Many fans of the strategy point out that you may only be able to get one or two in before being sidetracked by something inevitable. However, just one or two focused Pomodoros may be more productive than anything else you accomplish throughout the day.
As this hack requires very little tech or equipment, just a means of measuring time, it is important that the environment you’re concentrating in is conducive to productivity. Whether you prefer a snug solo booth to crack on with work, or find the hustle and bustle of a more lively atmosphere helps you work better, at incspaces we have areas across all of our sites that are ideal for getting stuff done. Take a look at some of our favourites, below this blog.