As many professionals are required to work from their homes, finding a way to be productive in this new environment is crucial. The misconception many have is that, since they’re at home, they have more time on their hands- hence they can get more work done. This is hardly the case. There are so many factors that inhibit the professional from getting done with even a single task and at the end of the day, he/she feels exhausted from not being able to accomplish anything. But there’s a technique to get around it.
The Pomodoro technique is a popular time management method created in the 1980s, by software developer and entrepreneur, Francesco Cirillo. Pomodoro is the Italian name for tomato, and the system is named after a tomato-shaped kitchen timer, that Cirillo used to keep himself focused and productive while studying at University. The method requires the professional to –
- Identify the tasks for the day.
- List them according to priority.
- Set a 25-minute time limit to complete each task.
- Take a five-minute break after completing each task. One 25-minute task is equal to one Pomodoro.
- After completing four Pomodoro’s, the professional can take a longer break of 15-20 minutes.
The technique is a simple effective method to manage one’s time and improve their work habits. By breaking down the workload into small manageable chunks, one is able to complete numerous tasks in a single day, without feeling exhausted. The 25-minute time limit principle, helps the professional to remain focused and concentrated on the task at hand because there’s a time limit to adhere to. The frequent breaks help to keep the mind refreshed and focused.
Rules to follow
While anyone is free to improve upon the method and create variations, there are certain rules to the method which can’t be altered.
- A Pomodoro can’t be interrupted; it marks 25 minutes of pure work.
- If it has been interrupted, then the Pomodoro is considered void and the professional should start fresh with a new Pomodoro.
- If it takes less than one Pomodoro, add it up, and combine it with another task.
- Once a Pomodoro begins, it has to ring.
- A Pomodoro can’t be split in half. It has to follow the 25-minute mark.
Interruptions are bound to happen constantly during the workday. Cirillo suggests the strategy of-
Inform – Politely inform the person that the person is occupied at the moment.
Negotiate – Schedule a time when both parties are available to talk.
Call back – Get back to the person at the designated time or when the Pomodoro ends.
The method helps professionals find a balance between work and play while keeping an effective check on their day to day activities both professional as well as personal.