By first deciding what you want to achieve during a productivity session and then planning the work around regular short breaks, it becomes easier to focus. You also experience reduced stress when you have a structure for your work and clearly see when you are reaching your goals. The Pomodoro Method provides recovery without disrupting your focus once you get started working.
The pomodoro technique, sometimes cases called tomato timer, is a productivity and time management method created by Francesco Cirillo. It’s designed to give you a more productive way to work, study and check off tasks.
Pomodoro is the Italian word for tomato. The main reason the method is called Pomodoro is because the creator, Francesco Cirillo, used a tomato shaped timer while developing the method.
1. Create a list of what you need to do/learn in the near future.
2. Decide what is most important to start with.
3. Identify the sub-tasks in each task to be able to plan more precisely.
4. Assess how much time you can spend on each item on your To-Do list.
5. Note what materials you need to do the tasks.
6. Determine the goal for today's work: What should I learn/do during today's work session?
7. Make a simple schedule for the day where you specify which tasks you want to work on.
8. Decide when to take a longer break (15-20 min.) and break for lunch/dinner (45-60 min.).
9. Start a timer of 25 min.
10. Start working focused on what you have planned.
11. Stop immediately when the timer signals.
12. Start the timer for 5 min. Take a break when moving, getting air, eating/drinking something…
13. Start working again immediately after 5 minutes and continue where you left off.
14. Start the timer again in 25 min. and repeat the procedure 25+5 min. until it is time for a longer break/meal.
15. Summarize what you have finished.
16. Reward yourself!
17. Evaluate and adapt the method to your needs: Do you want to e.g. shorten or lengthen the periods of work something? Do you need to find another environment where you can more easily focus? Are there distractions you need to deal with?
Just like with other agile methods, it is good to set aside time to do a retrospective. A retrospective is an agile concept that means that you occasionally stop and analyze the very methods that you use, to see how well they work. By doing 1 pomodoro retrospective occasionally, you can analyze how well the method is working for you. Use your notes to document every aspect of it. Maybe you notice that many of your pomodoros are being interrupted? Consider whether it is possible to improve or adapt more to your needs. As with all agile methods - you don't have to follow them exactly. It is allowed to experiment even with the Pomodoro method!
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