There is a lot of discussion lately on employee health and mental fitness as most of us adjust with the new normal of “work from home“. It can be really hard at times to focus on your work amidst all this chaos. A few weeks ago, while seeking internet’s help to resolve this issue, I found an amazing methodology called “Pomodoro Technique.” Many industry leaders also covered it on LinkedIn lately. Let us understand what and how of this technique.
What is Pomodoro Technique?
Developed in late 1980s by a person named Francesco Cirillo, Pomodoro technique is a time management method. It breaks down your day into multiple intervals called Pomodoro. Each Pomodoro ideally lengths about 25 minutes. Steps involved in Pomodoro technique are as follows:
- List down the tasks to be done (Important).
- Set the timer for 25 minutes.
- Work on the list for the entire time period (no breaks or distractions at all)
- After 25 minutes, checkmark the accomplished tasks
- Take a 5 minute break and move back to step 2.
- Take a 15-30 minute break between four such Pomodoros.
Why Pomodoro Technique?
While we were working from office, it was very convenient to go to someone’s desk and have a quick five minute chat for some issue resolutions, doubts, general follow up etc. With WFH, each of these five minute interactions have turned into phone calls or meetings. Therefore, it was very difficult to build that momentum required to close a task.
With Pomodoro, I clearly define the rules, so there is a lot of merit involved:
- I can plan my entire day well in advance.
- Whenever I have to get back to someone, I can be super specific.
- If someone follows up on something, I can tell the exact time I will work on that piece.
- I have never been able to keep such an organized track of the tasks that were accomplished during the day. This is totally possible now.
How to ensure an effective Pomodoro?
While it looks easy, I often found myself distracted by multiple calls, WhatsApp, Email notifications during a specific Pomodoro. In order to overcome this, I used a functionality on my phone called “Focus Mode“.
Focus Mode is a feature of devices running Android 10/Oxygen 10. Focus mode will let you choose the distracting applications and will mute all notifications from them for the specified period. Even the existing notifications from these apps will vanish during that time.
You can either pick a time period where focus mode automatically kicks in OR you can simply toggle it on or off from notification panel as shown below.
I saw a significant boost in my ability to get more done after using this technique. I think it tries to mimic the practical way of doing work where we spend some time working and take a short water/bio break. It just brings more structure to that routine. It can be quite handy. At least for the time I am working from home, I am likely to stick to this technique.