The Pomodoro Method
Updated: Aug 16
We have talked about working women and the effects of working so hard, but today I'm sharing one powerful technique that may better your entire working life, The Pomodoro Method.
I found a study that shows since 2012 the percentages of women in many areas of the workplace have gone up however, we are lacking in the management area and the representation of women of color and just overall diversity. COVID-19 have many people feeling that they have plateaued in their career and they are just unsure if they will even have a job to return to. Regardless of your situation right now, it will not be forever, so it is important to stay on track with your health.
The Pomodoro Method is a special technique that helps me accomplish a lot during the day, and thus, helps me sleep soundly at night. This technique will either help you focus on your job, job search, creating a path for a better you, or whatever your goals may be. This technique is simple yet so powerful. It is the Pomodoro Method, coined by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s.
THE BENEFITS OF THE POMODORO METHOD
The Pomodoro Method allows you to be more laser-focused, productive, and hold yourself accountable. All of these are crucial for our well-being because it is natural for us to slack when we no longer feel that fire. When you start to slack, things do not get done, and then you start to feel frustrated and upset with yourself which can be very counterproductive. Maybe you have an email that you really need to focus on but have a million other windows open in your brain making it hard for you to focus and prioritize.
BRINGING THE POMODORO METHOD INTO YOUR LIFE
Come up with a list of tasks that you'd like to complete today. If they feel big and burdensome, break these down into smaller, bite-sized activities. We do this first to allow you to dive right in once you begin the Pomodoro process.
Closeout all distractions, or as many as possible. For example, if you have to write a memo for work, consider switching your phone to silent, close frivolous browsers, shut down your email. Anything you can do to remove distractions will automatically make you more productive.
Set a timer for 20 minutes and focus on completing one bite-sized task you listed out in step 1. Do your best to use your energy to focus on and finish this one item in the 20 minutes allotted.
After the timer goes off, set a mini-timer for 3-5 minutes to take a quick break to stretch or grab some water.
Assuming this imaginary memo has many sub-sections that need to be written, use another 20 minutes to continue on the writing journey forward.
After performing this 20-minute exercise 3 times (which is considered one cycle), then take a 15-minute break to reset and refresh, then jump back in for another cycle or two, as needed.
If 20 minutes feels easy, then consider adding more time until you make your way to 45 focused minutes. I'd say that's a great stopping point because there is a time-frame of diminishing returns if you don't take small breaks often enough.
If 20 minutes feels hard, then consider dropping that down to 10 minutes and building up one minute at a time until you make it to 20 minutes. And if you stick at 12 minutes for months before you're able to increase, that's perfect, too. Like the muscles in our body, we also need to build endurance in the brain. Today's average adult loses concentration much faster than an adult in the 1980s or 1990s due to the unrelenting cell phone notifications and non-stop life that we've all become accustomed to. Therefore, be compassionate with yourself on this journey if your ability to focus feels sluggish.
TAKE ACTION: PRACTICE THE POMODORO METHOD
Bring this technique to life. With whatever you're doing right now, see if you can put this incredible tool to use. Take 20 minutes to focus on completing one thing and watch what happens!
I wish you workplace wellness and productivity during this transitory time that has many of us feeling energetically heavy and distracted. By inviting the Pomodoro method, you can increase your productivity which might free up an extra hour to meditate or sleep. It sounds like a win-win to me!
I invite you to start implementing the Pomodoro Method into your daily habits. If twenty-minutes seems too long at first, drop it down to ten. This method can be customized to fit your schedule, but the idea is to start somewhere. If ten minutes feels good, try increasing to eleven, then twelve, and then thirteen, etc.… Forty-five minutes will probably be the max anyone can do but if you can do longer then great. There are so many distractions around us and the Pomodoro Method helps you eliminate them for just a moment so you can focus on the task at hand.