This Simple Life-Changing Technique Can Help You Achieve 10x Results

It’s getting increasingly impossible to have a perfect working environment. However, you can work smarter without having to work harder.

Time is not your enemy. If you can master it and know when to do what, you won’t have to race the clock to finish tasks, projects and meet deadlines.

Have you thought about breaking your most difficult work into simple time-bound tasks?

Enter The Pomodoro

The Pomodoro technique teaches us to work with time, instead of struggling against it. It can help you power through distractions and get things done in short bursts.

The Pomodoro Technique, strictly about time-management was developed by Italian entrepreneur Francesco Cirillo. He created this simple study habit (when he was still a college student in the late 1980s) to maximize his productivity and reduce a feeling of burnout.

It focuses on working in short, intensely focused bursts, and then giving yourself a brief break to recover and start over.

The technique requires a timer, and it allows you to break down your large complex task into manageable intervals. Once you break your work into focused time blocks, you can manage it for the rest of time allocated for it.

Sean Kennedy, a writer at Zapier says:

The benefits of the Pomodoro Technique come from the frequent breaks, which help your mind stay fresh. The focused time blocks also force you to adhere to fixed limits, so you’ll be encouraged to complete a task more quickly, or in the case of a large task, spread it out over a number pomodoros.

There are even apps specifically designed to help you use the Pomodoros technique effectively. Focus Booster, PomoDone, Pomodoro Keeper, Tomighty, Pomodoro.cc and Pomodoro Time Pro are six of the best apps you can use to help you stay focused when you start using the Pomodoro Technique.

Paul Klipp, president of Lunar Logic’s Polish branch, explains on Quora that the Pomodoros technique works best for his schedule.

“At the core of this approach is the value of focusing for short bursts of activity. Specifically, one chooses a task (or set of tasks) to be completed in 25 minutes, sets a timer for 25 minutes, closes the door, unplugs the phone, turns off IM notifications and closes their email software, and works, diligently, on only the task at hand, for 25 minutes. Then you can take a 5 minute break.

You might think that a person could do 16 of these cycles in a day. I’m lucky to get more than two in a day without interruptions. But in those 50 minutes I get more done than I do in the other seven hours of my work day, at least in terms of advancing the most important aspects of my most important projects.”

Here’s how the Pomodoro Technique works, courtesy Cirillo Company

1. CHOOSE A TASK YOU’D LIKE TO GET DONE

Something big, something small, something you’ve been putting off for a million years: it doesn’t matter. What matters is that it’s something that deserves your full, undivided attention.

2. SET THE POMODORO FOR 25 MINUTES

Make a small oath to yourself: I will spend 25 minutes on this task and I will not interrupt myself. You can do it! After all, it’s just 25 minutes.

3. WORK ON THE TASK UNTIL THE POMODORO RINGS

Immerse yourself in the task for the next 25 minutes. If you suddenly realize you have something else you need to do, write the task down on a sheet of paper.

4. WHEN THE POMODORO RINGS, PUT A CHECKMARK ON A PAPER

Congratulations! You’ve spent an entire, interruption-less Pomodoro on a task.

5. TAKE A SHORT BREAK

Breathe, meditate, grab a cup of coffee, go for a short walk or do something else relaxing (i.e., not work-related). Your brain will thank you later.

6. EVERY 4 POMODOROS, TAKE A LONGER BREAK

Once you’ve completed four pomodoros, you can take a longer break. 20 minutes is good. Or 30. Your brain will use this time to assimilate new information and rest before the next round of Pomodoros.

It’s important to note that a pomodoro is an indivisible unit of work. If you tend to get interrupted with emails, notifications, or other distractions that can’t be helped, you may have some difficulties using this technique. You probably won’t benefit from this technique. But you can still experiment and find out how you could use it for some of your most difficult tasks that need little or no interruption.

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