My Productivity Improved After Modifying The Pomodoro Technique
My Distraction Problem
I have always struggled to keep my browser tabs under control. I would start with a new window and within a day there would be more than 10 tabs open. A few years ago, a new feature was added by Google Chrome that allowed you to save all your tabs and the problem got worse. As I was able to save my work, shut down my laptop, and start the next day with all my 50+ tabs open, the number of open tabs increased every day.
Francesco Cirillo came up with the Pomodoro Technique, it is a time management method to help you accomplish your tasks in small increments. The name comes from the tomato-shaped cooking timer that was very common to see in kitchens before we became obsessed with digital timers in our phones or other appliances.
What is your pomodoro technique timer? The technique consists on setting up a timer, usually 25 minutes, and working on a task until it rings. When the timer rings, you can take a break. After four pomodoros you can take a longer break.
I tried the technique and my goal was to achieve four Pomodoros of truly productive work before lunch. In the afternoon, I would do four more. Eight Pomodoro timers would equal to four hours more or less if you take a 5-minute break between each session. My challenge was that in the world we live in, we are bombarded with information from all sorts of apps, devices, and tools. If I opened my email, before I knew 30 minutes had expired. Instead of working on completing Pomodoros, I would get distracted.
I started doing a small variation where I would work for 45 minutes, then I would take a 15-minute break. This has worked much better for me as I have more time to get focused on the task, then I can take a longer break for a quick call, a short walk outside, or just rest.
With this 45-minute Pomodoro Technique, I tend to do two sessions before lunch and three more after. This longer interval has definitely a positive impact on my productivity.