Now that I’m back from vacation, I’m looking to amp up my productivity and get some serious work done–not only on my books, Maiedae tasks, and blogs, but also in my home and during my life! I’m an avid reader of Ann Voskamp’s blog and recently, I stumbled across her praise of the Pomodoro technique for working and staying productive. I am SO excited to share it with you today!

Essentially, the Pomodoro Technique for productivity looks like this:

>> For 25 minutes, work on one task alone. No distractions. No internet checking. No “taking a minute to do something else”. No! For 25 minutes, focus on ONE THING.

>> After your 25 minute period, take a break for 5 minutes. During your break: chill, read, stretch, dance to a song, pray, or meditate. Take the WHOLE 5 minute break.

>> Begin your next 25 minute work period–on a new task if you like or continue your previous task.

>> To record your productivity during a pomodoro, keep track of your work, whether you had any distractions, and whether or not you successfully completed your pomodoro block (separate a page up into three columns).

>> After 4 successful pomodoro time blocks, take a 20 minute break.

That’s pretty much it, folks! I don’t have a fancy red Pomodoro timer (yet), but I discovered a nifty website that lets you have a Pomodoro counter open on a separate tab while you’re working on your task. I’m super excited about trying this out! I think it is really going to help me to concentrate on my work without distractions and I am ready to train my mind to focus for longer periods of time! I think this will especially benefit my writing–as that is the task in which I get most distracted.

Have you ever used the Pomodoro technique for working? If so, what are your thoughts? Do you like using it? Wasn’t your thing? Why not?

Reviews of the Pomodoro Technique for productivity:

>> Awesome Toast’s thoughts

>> Fluent Time Management’s thoughts

>> Wikipedia on The Pomodoro Technique

Pomodoro for Productivity!
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  • Hey, thanks for the link! Mainly because it led me to your blog, which just so happens to be highly relevant to my interests. Nice thing to find on a Monday morning.

    • Welcome! I’m so pleased that my blog can provide you with some fun stuff to read! Good luck with your writing! 🙂

  • I don’t know if this works for everyone. While some tasks can be broken down into 25 minute increments, that’s not true for all types of work.

    Tom DeMarco wrote about the concept of “Flow” in his book Peopleware. For many types of knowledge workers, there’s a certain amount of time required to get all the components of the work active in your brain — DeMarco estimated 5-15 minutes. Once in this state, you can get a lot of work done. However, if an interruption occurs — telephone ringing, disruption of ambient office noise, or other distraction, the flow collapses, and it takes 5-15 minutes to get it back again.

    When I’m writing certain types of very complex code, there’s no way I can break up my work into 25 minute increments. I’m sure the same is true for complex writing of other kinds. So, I don’t think this is good advice for all types of work — unless what you are doing is particularly severable.

    • I think you’re definitely right about some tasks! For me, the 25 minutes is a nice break in the MIDDLE of a big task. For instance, it takes several pomodoros (25 minute blocks) to complete my Maiedae work or my writing for the day. The 5 minutes are good to get up, stretch, use the restroom, get more water, etc. It’s a good small break to help ward off brain fatigue (for me). I agree that it might not work for everyone or every task. For me, this week, it is a huge asset. I’m getting much more done, much more quickly, because I have the incentive of the pomodoro timer to beat!

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