The Pomodoro Technique is a productivity technique named after it’s founder, Francesco Cirillo, in the 1980’s. The way it works is simple:
- Pick a task that needs to be accomplished.
- Set a timer to 25 minutes (the timer is referred to as the Pomodoro).
- Work on the task until the timer goes off.
- Then, take a short 5 minute break.
- Repeat for 4 sessions. At the end of the 4th session, take a longer break.
It’s a simple productivity technique designed to increase your focus and concentration on a task. And it works!
My Version of the Pomodoro Technique:
I use a simple kitchen timer when I write. It’s nothing fancy; I bought it for ~$3 and it works just the way I need it to.
I set it for 12 or 15 minute intervals and break for 2-3 minutes. And I repeat that process until I’m done writing whatever I’m writing.
I don’t carry the timer around with me and this weekend I wanted to get some writing done so I downloaded Repeat Timer Pro for the iPhone. It cost $1.99 and so far, it’s well worth the cost.
Here’s what’s cool about it:
- I can create up to 3 different timers.
- There’s an interval timer that I can set to repeat in between sessions.
- I can set it to stay open and/or it’ll send a notification when my session is up.
Here’s what the timer screen looks like:
Currently, I have it set to 12 minutes with a 3 minute interval (my break), repeating 3 times.
When you’re setting up your timer, you can easily create an interval timer and set it to repeat as many times as you want.
Then, you can set up your alerts and modify a few other settings like “interval timer ticking” from the settings page:
My morning routine consists of listening to Pandora on my iPhone, grabbing a drink (coffee or Redbull), running the timer and writing/editing/publishing a post for the day.
A lot of what writing is, is sitting and thinking. Sometimes you stare at a blank screen. Other times, the words just flow out. In either case, that silly little timer helps!
(It helped legendary copywriter Eugene Schwartz).
How do you stay productive? Do you use a timer to help you focus when you’re doing your work?
[Pomodoro Logo Photo Credit: PomodoroTechnique.com]