Is the Pomodoro Technique really helpful

Time Management: The Pomodoro Technique

In the 1980s, Francesco Cirillo developed a method of time management to do tasks more effectively: thePomodoro technique. The method is based on the assumption that frequent breaks improve mental agility. The division of working time into equally long sections should also help to maintain motivation and to carry out work in a more concentrated manner.

  1. What is the Pomodoro Technique?
  2. How do you put the time management method into practice?
  3. What are the effects of the Pomodoro technique?
  4. What is the technology useful for?
  5. What are the advantages and disadvantages of the Pomodoro technique?
  6. How do you get started with the method?
  7. Disruptions despite Pomodoro technology - how do you deal with them?
  8. Practical example of the Pomodoro method

What is the Pomodoro Technique?

The designation Pomodoro technique goes back to the Italian term for the German word tomato. Because the egg timer, which was used when the technology was developed by its inventor, was in the shape of a tomato. Francesco Corillo set his tomato-shaped egg timer to 25 minutes during his working hours in order to optimize his own time management and thus developed the Pomodoro technique.

How does the Pomodoro technique work?

The Pomodoro technique is very uncomplicated and only requires a kitchen clock for its implementation. Because it divides work processes into time blocks of 25 minutes each. After each block of time, you take a five-minute break. As soon as you have completed a time block of 25 minutes each four times, there is a break of 30 minutes.

How can the time periods be divided?

The division of an entire working day into individual time segments of 25 minutes each can present us with challenges. Because the time periods of the Pomodori want to be well used. Therefore, you can make the following considerations in order to improve your Plan your working day with the Pomodoro technique:

  • Identify tasks that should be completed within 25 minutes
  • Group several small tasks together to complete within 25 minutes, such as checking and answering e-mails and tidying up your desk.
  • Divide large tasks in Pomodori of 25 minutes each

How do you put the Pomodoro technique into practice?

  • Selection of the task:
    Determine the tasks that you have to do. First, formulate the tasks for today in writing. Break this down into 25-minute units. Break down large tasks, such as writing a long text, into 25-minute sections. You combine smaller tasks into 25-minute bundles. For example, sorting the filing, answering e-mails or changing the toner cartridge.
  • Notes:
    Briefly record the task in writing. Sort them by urgency and write the priorities next to them.
  • Time setting:
    Before you start work, set your alarm clock to 25 minutes. Then you take up your work. Cirillo emphasizes that actively limiting time allows a completely different approach to the task than working without timing.
  • Interruption of work:
    As soon as the alarm goes off for the first time, you put your work aside. Make sure you interrupt her immediately after the doorbell rings.
  • Motivation:
    To give yourself a sense of achievement, cross out the first "Pomodoro" on your assignment slip. After the next 25 minutes have passed, cross out the next Pomodoro until you have finished your last Pomodoro.
  • Break:
    After you have interrupted your work, you take a break of five minutes. It is best to leave your workplace during the break to take a short exercise.
  • Continuation:
    After a five-minute break, you will resume your work. Before that, you set the alarm clock again to 25 minutes.
  • Repetition:
    Repeat the individual steps four times to take a break of 30 minutes after the fourth pomodoro.

If it is not possible in your everyday work that you work for 25 minutes without interruptions by phone, colleagues or customer visits, then you can define other, more suitable time units for your task and time management and thus explain shorter sections to "Pomodori". Several phases of 10 minutes also help ensure that large tasks are gradually mastered.

What are the effects of the Pomodoro technique?

Focus thanks to relaxation

The Pomodoro technique aims to increase concentration on a job. The time intervals of 25 minutes each are set to the normal capacity that we can muster for concentrated work. By creating manageable sections, which we do with increased concentration and which are followed by sufficiently long breaks, the Pomodoro technique ensures that we can relax again and again during extensive work. In this way, we can again apply increased concentration for the following section.

Improve productivity

The regular breaks ensure that concentration is refreshed again and again. During the 25-minute work intervals, we are focused on getting as much done as possible, as the next break is already approaching. This will avoid distractions or time wasters in the workplace. Because in the short work phase of the Pomodoro technique you don't have time for unimportant secondary tasks.

Overcome blockages

The Pomodoro method helps to overcome blockages. With the Pomodoro technique, extensive tasks are divided into such small sub-tasks that a sense of achievement emerges very quickly. In addition, most people have fewer problems taking one small step at a time than facing a task that, in its entirety, seems very big. The small units of the Pomodoro have a motivating effect because they are manageable.

Make it easier to start work

The Pomodoro technique makes it easier to get started with a task. Focusing on a small sub-area of ​​a large task also allows us to work more effectively and efficiently.

Motivation boost thanks to time management

The method creates fixed time windows in which productive work is possible without the usual distractions. When you have completed a task, you can cross it off on your list afterwards. The deletion of the task acts as a reward on our brain and thus provides the next motivation boost.

What is the Pomodoro technique useful for?

Increased concentration:

The Pomodoro technique helps with work in which we have to apply increased mental concentration. Especially for concentrated learning or for tasks in which a special degree of care or creativity is required, the Pomodoro technique should help to maintain targeted attention and mental resilience. The technique is less useful for manual work, as the motor movements make it difficult to lose concentration.

Improved discipline:

Since we have to struggle with numerous distractions in our everyday work that impair our concentration, the Pomodoro technique helps to maintain discipline. Since the time between the breaks is reserved for work and must be used accordingly, the Pomodoro technique supports self-discipline by preventing us from using the time between the breaks for anything other than work or even taking a break. Because the time spans between the breaks are set relatively short and must therefore be used to complete the work. The pause times follow one another relatively quickly, so that we do not find ourselves in a position to feel tired during the periods of concentration.

Higher effectiveness:

With the Pomodoro technique you improve your sense of time. Because of the short periods of time between breaks, you cannot overwork. You can switch off the numerous distractions such as talking on the phone, reading e-mails or drinking coffee during working hours. Because there is not enough time for this between the breaks. In this way, the Pomodoro technique enables you to use your working time much more effectively.

Help against procrastination

The Procrastination refers to the postponement of unfinished business that we had set ourselves firmly. Especially self-employed, freelancers or students who have to exercise a high degree of self-discipline because they have to do their tasks on their own, struggle with procrastination. The Pomodoro technology provides a reliable remedy.

If you are faced with a large task, you have to get involved in a job that can take up to eight hours, for example. In such a case, we know that once we turn to the great task, we will not have time for any other task. This situation tempts us to do many small and pleasant tasks before we get down to the big one. So we get into the water of postponing the big task for a long time and finally finishing it late and then under time pressure.

The Pomodoro technique counteracts the dynamic that leads to procrastination. Because the division of a large task into many small sections makes it possible to break down a large mountain of tasks into several manageable stages and thus master them step by step. The Pomodoro technology creates the prerequisite that we do not have to get involved in a large task in a single and time-unlimited work step and for this reason postpone the completion before us. Rather, we do many small work steps, between which we find enough time to relax so that the task becomes easier to cope with. As a result, we no longer have to postpone the work to a later point in time, but can face it at any time.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of the Pomodoro technique?

The only disadvantage of the Pomodoro technique is that one could underestimate the effectiveness of the time management method due to its simplicity. The advantages, however, are convincing:

  • Concentration:
    Conscious breaks ensure sufficient regeneration. It is not the workload that determines the time management, but the Pomodoro alarm clock.
  • Productivity:
    Those who successfully avoid distractions do their central task in a focused manner. This effect of the Pomodoro technique leads to increased productivity.
  • Regeneration:
    Since the break in the Pomodoro technique must be strictly observed, there is a conscious interruption that takes you away from your workplace for a sufficient amount of time.
  • Self-control:
    Since you only have a period of 25 minutes available for your work, you do not have the opportunity to pursue an impulse that wants you to surf the Internet, for example, instead of concentrating on your task.
  • Self-discipline:
    The solid framework of the Pomodoro technology creates the optimal framework conditions within which you can complete tasks without much effort. This makes it easier for you to discipline yourself, to take up your work and to carry it out to the end.

How do you get started with the Pomodoro technique?

In order for the Pomodoro technique to succeed, you should not undertake an extensive workload on the first try. Instead, start with a small work unit that is four Pomodoro units. Four units of the Pomodoro technique last two hours. If you are using the Pomodoro Technique for the first time, you should consistently rule out all disruptions during the first two hours. If you have completed the first block of the Pomodoro Technique well, then you can already use eight Pomodoro units, i.e. a working time of implement four hours.

Disruptions despite Pomodoro technology - how do you deal with them?

During extensive work that takes several hours to complete, you must expect disruptions of various origins. Even during the time interval of 25 minutes, the colleague can approach you with an important question or ring the phone. If there is a disruption during your work interval, you can note the following:

  • Do not stop your alarm clock during short interruptions.
  • If you get longer interruptions, you can stop the alarm. After a long break, you can first take a break before continuing to work.
  • If you as employee the Pomodoro technique If you want to use it for your time management, then you should communicate your plans in your company. To do this, you should explain the Pomodoro technology to your employer and your team in detail. Because the necessary breaks in the technology require clarification with your employer. You can suggest to your employer or team leader that you test the Pomodoro technique for a certain period of time. Agree with your team that you will not be disturbed during the test phase for certain time intervals. Try to determine a result after the test phase. If the technology has improved your productivity at work, you should document an evaluation so that you can present it to your employer.

Practical example of the Pomodoro method

Would you like to write a short article?
1st phase: Topic research (part 1) - 25 minutes
Break - 5 minutes
2nd phase: Topic research (part 2) - 25 minutes
Break - 5 minutes
3rd phase: Creating the outline - 25 minutes
Break - 5 minutes
4th phase: Define the content blocks within the article - 25 minutes
Break - 15 to 30 minutes
5th phase: Writing the introduction - 25 minutes
Break - 5 minutes
6th phase: Writing the main part and the conclusion - 25 minutes
Break - 5 minutes
7th phase: Correcting and editing

You have completed the task and successfully completed all the subtasks in 7 steps.