The Pomodoro Method was created by Francesco Cirillo as an effective way to get through important tasks in the business day. We tend to either avoid beginning a longer task because it’s too daunting or work too long impacting our productivity. The Pomodoro Method was designed to tackle the inefficiencies in the workplace.
The idea with the Pomodoro Method was to break each unit of work (known as a Pomodoro) into 25-minute segments. A short break of a few minutes after one completed segment helps to clear the mind; take a restroom break or look around with a fresh outlook. Once four 25-minute Pomodoros have been completed, it’s suggested you take a longer productivity break of 20-30 minutes too.
How Popular is the Pomodoro Method?
There are over two million people who have tried using Pomodoro timed tasks to see if it assists them in getting through the day while being more productive. The idea was created around three decades ago before regular use of computers and the multitude of ways to get distracted away from work tasks existed.
It’s perhaps even more useful today than in the past. Concentrating in 25-minute sections of time is something that even people who find it hard to sit in one spot and focus can try. Once they get started on a task and the minutes and seconds tick away, the time just flies! In this sense, it’s not really about the 25 minutes per se, but the act of making the next work segment of just 25-minutes seem consequential, which helps people get started sooner.
The simplicity of Pomodoro Method Means More Employees Adopt It
In the bid to be productive for more of the 8+ hours at the workplace, breaking work down into manageable small chunks of time has considerable appeal to employees. Rather than watching the clock through the day – particularly in the afternoon – they can watch a Pomodoro timer instead.
There are plenty of mobile apps and browser extensions that offer a simple timer to countdown 25 minutes and add breaks as needed.
Due to the simplicity of the system, people have tried the approach to help with difficult projects where they regularly get stuck. In an age where ‘busy work’ and procrastination takes precedence over true productivity, companies look for any way to keep employees motivated throughout the day.
There’s a significant body of research which confirms that the typical employee is only productive 3-4 hours per day. Anything to either improve upon that or raise the quality of their functional productive time is welcomed in the business community.
Why Twenty-Five Minutes Works Well for Most People
It’s not magic, that’s for sure.
While it doesn’t seem like that much time, it’s long enough that a knowledge worker’s mind can start to wander when their concentration exceeds a half hour or so. True, there are some tasks like writing an article where a freelance writer won’t want to break off until their 1,000 words are completed, but for most people, taking a break close to every half hour matches their body’s rhythms.
It is possible to set a timer to a longer period of time such as 45 minutes if you find that personally you get more done that way or don’t need a break as frequently as every 25 minutes. There’s no hard and fast rule. It might not strictly speaking be a Pomodoro that way, but it if works better for your business tasks, go ahead.
Sprinting Towards the Breaks Times
The short breaks between periods of work are vital to rest your eyes, take a quick mental break, and refresh. Usually, these are only five minutes or so, but you or your staff will feel noticeably quicker mentally afterward.
With a short period of work, it’s also possible to sprint towards the break time. Pushing harder to get more done and better, within a set period of time. An open-ended timeframe isn’t always a good thing. To paraphrase Parkinson’s Law, it roughly states that work fills the available time. Therefore, to prevent a slowdown, individual sprints throughout the day with each Pomodoro keeps the energy up.
Break Projects Down by Pomodoro Cycles
Using the 25-minutes work period along with expected short breaks and longer ones every four Pomodoros, it’s possible to plan out how many work segments can be completed in a morning and an afternoon.
This is useful for project planning. Examining the level of typical productivity that comes out of each Pomodoro for the average worker compared to how they performed when not using the method is quite telling too. Most workers will become more productive under the system because it naturally enforces breaktimes and sprint cycles. It also wards away from working longer periods without a break, leading to declining productivity. Sometimes this happens because workers feel guilty about taking breaks!
With the office working in the same way, everyone understands when a worker is on a break. They’re also less likely to want to disturb a colleague on a Pomodoro. For managers, they may need to allocate set Pomodoro times to push through their tasks and open-ended time to deal with administrative or staffing issues that don’t conform to the same time constraints.
Helping to Stay Organized
When using Pomodoro and its simple system, it naturally bleeds into other areas of the business. Keeping simplicity in mind, not overcomplicating tasks and even being a minimalist at times, helps keep the business lean and functioning without as many difficulties.
There are many organizational tips that are helpful in different kinds of businesses from law firms to marketing agencies to civil engineering companies. To spark some fresh organizational ideas beyond the Pomodoro Method, check this website and visit now to get the mental juices flowing.
As with anything in business, it pays to find the right set of productivity and organizational techniques that work for the management team and the knowledge workers as a whole. When everyone adopts the same approach, everything runs more smoothly. This also helps with maintaining high productivity levels to get through detailed projects and hit their deadlines, especially when projects rely on several members of a team hitting their individual targets.