Boost Your Productivity with the Pomodoro Technique

By Bre Horstman
South Slope Business Development Manager

Finding yourself having too many incomplete tasks on your to-do list, meanwhile the list just keeps growing? It’s becoming an increasing issue in my life, both at home and at work. As I’m typing this, I’ve just received two emails and another notification on my phone. All of those distractions are getting in the way of my true productivity. It’s easy to spend the whole day attending to things that pop-up or “putting out fires” as I lovingly describe it, but then there isn’t much time left to tackle the priorities. I’m trying out a new strategy right now and enjoying the bursts of productivity – it’s called the Pomodoro Technique.

Essentially the Pomodoro Technique is a time management system that promotes intervals of high productivity and short breaks to prevent burnout. To get started you simply select a task, set the timer for 25 minutes and begin working, ignoring all distractions. Once the timer goes off you take a short five-minute break. This is the time that I check those emails and notifications that have filtered in while I was working and stretch. This cycle repeats and after the fourth pomodoro, you take a longer break.

Fun fact: Pomodoro is the Italian word for tomato. Of course this got me curious and I had to dig in further. Francesco Cirillo named the Pomodoro Technique after those red kitchen timers that look like tomatoes. My grandma had one of those!

So far I’ve found great success with this technique when I need to get a project done, like this blog. It’s been especially helpful with tasks that I’m not really excited about doing. I find myself trying to beat the timer so I get quite a bit done. If you’re competitive like me, it might not be the best technique for those tasks that require pinpoint accuracy since you’re working quickly. But who knows, maybe it will hyper-focus your accuracy and I’ll be over here cheering you on!! If you want to read more about this productivity method, check out these helpful articles on lifehacker.com and forbes.com.