The Pomodoro Technique is a productivity method, but it’s not the ONLY productivity method you should use.
You will get some value by starting a 25 minutes timer now, but if you know the method’s strengths,
you’ll use it when it’s perfectly suited to what you do.
The Method helps you COMPLETE tasks with Deep Focus sessions
It won’t help with choosing the tasks.
There are many productivity methods, Getting Things Done, The Eisenhower Matrix, Kanban, etc.
The Pomodoro Method is one of them. And it focuses on… focusing. It’s a method that will help
you get more done by being more focused on a task.
It is here to help you get through the DOING part of your task list. And it does it very well!
If you don’t know whether you’re working on the right thing, the Pomodoro Method won’t help. You’ll do the wrong thing faster. Or you’ll never finish a Pomodoro.
If you don’t have control over your schedule or have to deal with others’ schedules, the method will likely be useless. Don’t schedule meetings as Pomodoro.
Use the Pomodoro Method as a feedback loop
One of the principles of the methods is to write down an X every time you complete a Pomodoro.
Is use this to get a feedback loop on how my day went and how my week is going.
At the end of every day, I see how many sessions I completed. I know how many sessions I broke before 25 minutes.
And I know how long each task took me. With this “feedback loop,” I’m a little more aware of my productivity.
And often, I get a signal if something is going on with my work, good or bad.
For example, if I see that I failed to focus 25 minutes on a task many times during the day, I know that:
- Maybe the job is not well defined,
- Maybe my energy level is low, and I should take care of myself.
It’s apparent near the end of the day. I’ll fail more and more Pomodoros. That’s the sign I should stop and get some rest to get shit done tomorrow.
Sometimes, you have to take a step back to figure out how to do things more efficiently. The Pomodoro Method helps you create the feedback loop that tells you if it’s worth moving in the same direction or if you should take a break and reflect.
All you need to start using the Pomodoro method is a piece of paper and a timer. Or you can use a worksheet and a timer application.
That’s the good news: the method is compatible with your current workflow. No matter which applications you use right
now and no matter the kind of tasks you have to do. You can mix the Pomodoro Method with other productivity methods. And it works with other tools like Todoist, your Issue Manager, Trello, etc.
We think the best way to apply the Pomodoro Method is to use it to complement other tools you already use. That’s why we developed our own Pomodoro Timer Application for macOS. TickingFocus will work nicely with any other application you might use. It won’t force you into one way to log your tasks or another.
It’s a focused application.
Use-cases for the Pomodoro Method
When I’m tired by a day or two of work. That happens, you work for hours, and it feels like nothing
is getting done. To me, it feels like my task list is turning into quicksands. When I get a day or two of this feeling
I’ll take out my Pomodoro Timer and start doing 25 minutes sessions. Usually, that helps me re-evaluate if my work is
really “stuck” or if that just a feeling, and if there is something I need to fix.
When I have to do “grunt work”. Sometimes there is no choice, you have to do some boring stuff, and your monkey brain
is screaming for something else. It’ll look for anything to get out of the task. When I realize I’m wasting time NOT doing the job because I don’t like it. I’ll do a few Pomodoros to get me out of it. Having a timer turns any task into a challenge, in a way, that’s how to do something you hate.
When I get a lot of interruptions. Same, that happens to everyone, working on anything, with any team. There are times where you’ll keep getting new messages, requests, discussions. And you won’t progress on the “hard stuff.” Using Pomodoro allows me to say, “I’m not available now; please come back in 20 minutes”. It’s a polite and precise way to ask back your
calm and focus.
Once it’s in your muscle memory, you’ll know when to take it out
So if you wonder, does the Pomodoro technique work?.
I know it does for me.
I started applying it to “do more and work more and be more focused.” It worked for a while that way. And at the same time, I learned more about my productivity. I discovered that I could “deep focus” for four hours (8 Pomodoros) daily and usually before noon. Rarely more. That’s OK.
So that’s not some Productivity Porn advice, another name for false productivity advice. I honestly think that the Pomodoro Method is helpful because even if you just use it for a week, you’ll learn something about how you work.
And once you’ve used it for a week, you’ll know that you can “take it out” and apply it any time you need, like learning a tool.
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!