Pomodoro technique: You work with the clock (instead of against them)
In a world full of distractions, agile time management can be a challenge. E-Mails, phone calls, social networks, and the like to prevent that we can really focus on a single task. Right here is the Pomodoro technique. Just once, evaluate it if you are looking for a simple and relaxed approach to time management and if you rather put off meticulously planned task lists. Another advantage: Regular coffee breaks are an integral part of this time management system!
The Pomodoro technique was invented in the late 1980s by Francesco Cirillo. He realized that defined periods of concentrated work and subsequent short breaks could greatly increase productivity. He called these intervals of 25 minutes plus 3 to 5 minute break “Pomodoros” – in honour of the tomato-shaped kitchen timer, which he used to the schedule (“Pomodoro” is the Italian word for “Tomato”).
By the timer and the small intervals, forcing himself to single-tasking and reduce the human tendency to push important tasks before him. Improve your concentration and can more easily cope with stress.
Today, Cirillo teaches his time management system all over the world. It has spread in various areas and was cast as diverse. A similar approach as the Timeboxing technique in agile software development.
Getting started using the Pomodoro technique
The core of the Pomodoro technique is quite simple: you work for 25 minutes focused and without distractions on your task, take a five minute break – and repeat this process. After four 30-minute intervals (or Pomodoros) enjoy a longer break from 15 to 30 minutes. This way, you fully complete each task.
Cirillo recommends using a kitchen timer, setting time and the subsequent tick create not only a sense of urgency, but gradually be associated with concentrated and productive work. Alternatively, there are also many computer programs and online applications that simulate Pomodoro timer on your computer.
So it goes:
- Select a task.
Make a list of the necessary activities and transferred the tasks that must be done on this day, in a ‘ to do ‘ list. Larger tasks, the longer than approx. 2 to 3 hours take, break down into subtasks. You combine smaller tasks that take less than 25 minutes to a single task. Select the most important task from the list.
- Adjust the timer to 25 minutes.
As soon as the time is running, start without delay with the selected task.
- Edit the task until the timer alarm.
Interrupt the work immediately. Otherwise later have a convenient excuse to cheat during the next Pomodoro – you can then convince themselves that you also have worked over the last Pomodoro and therefore can interrupt your next Pomodoro by unnecessary actions.
- Take a break for 3 to 5 minutes.
Set the timer for this break. Then, set the timer to 25 minutes and continue to work.
- After 4 Pomodoros you enjoy a longer break from 20 to 30 minutes.
Log your activities
The review and recording of your efforts is critical to the success of time management with the Pomodoro technique – ask for accountability of itself almost.
At the end of each working day note therefore all completed tasks and the number of Pomodoros you have needed. The actual time required to perform a single task is irrelevant; It only matters how many Pomodoros you have needed a day in total. Each Pomodoro is not a separate unit of time – time in General, but productive, focused time. This changed your perception of time crucial – because the “normal” time does not matter, it is also no source of anxiety and stress more.
Similarly, external and internal disruptions. External interruptions are, for example, impromptu meetings, questions from colleagues or phone calls. Internal interruptions, – day Musings, the desire for a cup of coffee, the view on the social network – are particularly difficult to control, even if they should actually wait until the scheduled break. Mark such interruptions or temptations on their list, weekly to analyze and to improve your time management in this way in the long term.
“I am the founder of Majer Consulting and Majer Training and an experienced software developer, trainer and consultant. I have been on the road in the SAP world since 1998, supporting numerous projects, and have developed a passion for software engineering, software testing and agile development methods such as TDD. When I am not servicing customers or holding seminars, I am speaking at conferences or writing my next book.”