A Walk Through your First Pomodoro Session

Work Less, Do More. Learn the rituals that makes you more productive with this interactive tutorial.

Can I have your attention for the next 30 minutes?

We’ll learn a new skill together. But as everything worth it, it’ll take some time.

The good news is that at the end of these thirty minutes you’ll have finished that “damn task you have been postponing for ages.”

We’ll go through a Pomodoro Session together. Please don’t hesitate to interact with this page, that’s an interactive tutorial! You can also use a piece of paper and follow along.

Start with an intent: write your task

First of all, write down the task you want to do right now.

It could be anything,

  • Complete project Important,
  • Clean my office,
  • Finish writing an article on the Pomodoro Method,
  • etc.

I write this during the holiday season, and I intend to use it to find gifts for my close ones.

Write down your goal. Don’t worry about coming up with a good definition. All we want is a task that takes an hour or see and that you wish to complete.

I find this method particularly useful to do stuff that I keep postponing or procrastinate. The kind of task I start working on, then five minutes later I’m on Twitter.

Start a Focus Session

Here is the main idea of the Pomodoro Method: we’re going to work on “That task I’ve been postponing” for ten minutes. Nothing else. If we move to anything else, we break the pomodoro.

Let’s take out our timer and set it to ten minutes. Mine is right below; you can try it out.

It’s better if your timer has sound or if your timer is always visible! We want your subconscious to get into focus mode. The original method recommends a Kitchen Timer that you keep on your desk.

That’s why we designed the desktop app. It’s so minimalist you’ll be happy keeping it on your screen.

Now let’s start working on “That task I’ve been postponing”, I’ll see you in ten minutes!

Rate your first Pomodoro

So you where supposed to do “That task I’ve been postponing” exclusively, for ten minutes.

How did it go? Was there any interruption? Maybe you went on Facebook, sent a message on Twitter, checked your emails, or got some coffee Where you deep in your task when your timer rang?

You completed your first Pomodoro good job! You broke your first Pomodoro, that's ok, we're learning!

Pomodoros are indivisible.

When we move to something else before the end of a session we “break the Pomodoro”. That’s ok, we wouldn’t need a method to take back our focus if it was easy to succeed on the first attempt. It takes some time to get used to it.

We are learning a new pattern of work.

✅ When you realize you broke a Pomodoro, stop, and add a “C” in front of your task. If you didn’t break the pomodoro, add an “X”.

We reset between Pomodoros with a 5 Minutes Break

Even when we break a Pomodoro we take a break. We need to be in a fresh mindset, ready to move on!

Take a real break. staying in front of your screen does not really count. Try something different, maybe stand up, get a glass of water, open a window. The work will still be here when you come back. That’s one feature of the Pomodoro Method, it gets you out of the zone because this might be unhealthy too.

Let’s do a few more Pomodoros

Back to “That task I’ve been postponing”! Let’s do a few more sessions.

That’s always the same story, a Pomodoro is a focus session. Start your timer to invoke the gods of concentration. When the timer rings or you realise you lost yourself, Note it, Take a Break, Repeat.

You might be used to doing many things at once, or even replying as soon as possible to any message. It’ll get some time to get used to it. But getting time to do deep work is one of the things productive people do differently. They focus to improve. And their focus improves.

It’ll take some time, especially because you need to tweak your tools. Disable notifications, put your phone on silent, close that tab.

Give it a try even if it’s just for a few days!

You've completed four Pomodoros, time for a break!

If you’re done, cross the task

So you’ve completed what you wanted to accomplish. First of all, remember, Pomodoros are indivisible. We want to avoid breaking Pomodoros.

If you’re done before the end of the timer, take some time to review what you’ve completed. Is the work truly complete? What did you learn? What could you do better next time? This is the right time to take a step back.

Don’t break Pomodoros.

When you’re done, cross the task you just completed. Congrats!

Long Break

Every four Pomodoros we take a 25 minutes break. It’s a long break.

What to do during a long break? First of all, I stand up and get moving. Usually my body knows where to go. It could be taking a walk outside, grabbing a sheet of paper to draw. Getting water, etc.

Long breaks are time to calm and take a big step back. Don’t think about work anymore. Your brain is breathing.

Create your task list with estimations

Now for the last piece of knowledge you ought to know. Every day, when you get to work, define your list of tasks. Then add an estimation. It’s a number of focus sessions you think you will need.

Name Estimation Done
3 XCX
1
3
2

Review your worksheet to learn about yourself

Name Estimation Done
3 XCX
1 CC
3 XCX
2 XXXXXCX

At the end of the day, or at the end of the week, you will have an interesting table. It’s a table full of things you have done, moment you where in the zones. Or times where you couldn’t get any work done. This table is ideal for review.

Check the table above, what can you learn?

Sending emails is hard for me, I keep procrastinating and losing focus. Maybe tomorrow I’ll do it first thing in the morning when I have the most energy. Or I could make the task simpler.

That article took MUCH more time than expected. I might need think about it next time I plan for it. Or maybe I’ll improve. Time will tell.

This is a feedback loop to work better.

  • When are you the most productive?
  • How many pomodoro can you achieve in a day?
  • How long is the ideal Pomodoro Time for you?

For example, I learned that I can’t do much more than 8 Pomodoros a day, approximately 4 hours of deep and intense work. I’m not trying to work 12 hours a day anymore, what’s the point if I can’t focus during most of the day?

You’re all set!

Phew, that was a long one, but I hope this will help you get into the Pomodoro Method!

Do you want to know more? Check out my other bits of advice on the 🍅 Pomodoro Technique. Or get the TickingFocus application for macOS Now!

Photo by T. Q. on Unsplash

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