Finding it difficult to get through your workload without losing concentration or feeling overwhelmed? Try using this technique to help you break your task list down.
The Pomodoro Technique (so called due to the tomato shaped timer used to create the technique) was created by Franceso Cirillo in the 1980’s and helps you to divide your work day into manageable chunks. It blocks your working time into 25 minute segments followed by a short, five minute break.
How and Why It Works
Great for helping the mind to stay focused and productive, the Pomodoro Technique helps you to take advantage of the average 25 minute attention span that most people possess. The five minute break helps the mind to stay refreshed and avoid burn-out and fatigue. The break also helps to improve concentration and productivity during the 25 minute working segment.
You can use the Pomodoro Technique to maximise your performance on both short and long task lists.
Shorter Tasks and Lists – A long to-do list of short jobs can seem overwhelming and finding the motivation to organise the list and start work can cause feelings of frustration or overwhelm. Breaking the list down into manageable 25 minute chunks can make the list seem less daunting and help you to start making progress. You will also work faster as you will want to avoid carrying a piece of work over into your next 25 minute block if you can help it. Great for stopping procrastination!
Longer Tasks and Lists – Avoid boredom, frustration and lack of concentration by dividing your list up. Breaking the list down into 25 minute work blocks can keep stress at bay and improve the quality of your work.
How to Put This Technique Into Practice
Find a timer – Either a physical timer or a phone timer will work. A phone timer can be better if you are working in an office with other people as you can set it to vibrate to avoid distracting others.
Use your five minute break wisely – Use this time to look away from your screen to help avoid tired eyes. Get a drink, stretch and try to move around. Keeping hydrated and keeping your blood flowing will also help to keep you refreshed and able to concentrate.
Take a 15 minute break after four timed working segments. Clear your head by going for a brisk walk or chatting to a colleague.
Try applying this technique next time your workload begins to overwhelm you and see how the results help you.