A few weeks ago I discovered a tomato that changed my life forever… seriously, my productivity has gone through the roof, my businesses have improved and I’ve started on 3 new and potentially super profitable business ideas all because of a TOMATO!! What’s my secret? It’s called the Pomodoro Technique.
Francesco Cirillo coined the Pomodoro Technique in 1992 using a basic kitchen timer (Shaped like a pomodoro - Italian for tomato) and a sheet of paper. The gist of the technique is that you break down all of your ‘tasks’ throughout the day into 25 minute increments called pomodoros. First you write down on a sheet of paper the things you have to do for the day… for example:
- Write a blog post
- Research for my new project X
- Design a business card in Photoshop
- Call 3 potential clients
- Give my VA’s instructions for the coming week
Now look over your list and see what will take you less than 25 minutes, group that with another task because you must always finish the pomodoro once it’s set ticking. If your task will be over 25 minutes that’s fine, you’ll just use more than one pomodoro to complete it.
Now get your kitchen timer, or use e.ggtimer or use a Pomodoro Technique iPhone app (there are several). Before you set it going remember, pomodoros are indivisible – meaning you can’t break them into smaller time segments. So get ready to dedicate the next 25 minutes of your life to the task at hand. It works best if you turn off your phone, block out all distractions (yes I mean Skype, your pet kitty Friskers or your annoying roomate – I listen to white noise through my headphones) and get to work.
When your pomodoro rings no matter what you have to put aside what you are doing and take a 5 minute break, in this you can clean up your desk, skim a fun blog or make a phone call. Then after the break is up get back to your pomodoro if you aren’t finished or start a new task.
After you’ve finished 4 pomodoro’s back to back (including the 5 minute breaks in between) you must take a 30 minute break – this larger break should be used to do things completely non work related. I.e. clean out your sock drawer (during my last break I found 23 socks that had NO partners! so sad). If you have the good sense God gave a gerbil you get the point of this…. but let me tell you, THIS ROCKS SOCKS! You will within one day be amazed at how much MORE you get done. But you’ve gotta stick to the rules no matter what, if you break a pomodoro i.e. answer the phone, get distracted, work on something else you must reset the timer and start again. So no cheating!
If you want to learn more and download the FREE PDF offered by the people who created this amazing technique check out the official site for the pomodoro technique here.