Beat procrastination through the Pomodoro Technique

The Pomodoro Technique has saved me so much wasted time and effort. I have a confession. I am a terrible procrastinator. We all are. The way that the brain is built makes easy and simple tasks addictive.

Your mind plays tricks on you when you attempt something difficult. For example; if you try to write a new blog, the mind wants to revert and waste time on an easy task. I could be replying to emails, checking social media or any number of household chores. Sometimes that is how people can get caught in the trap of feeling busy. The mind wants to avoid the new or taxing problem. The Pomodoro Technique sets you up for a short burst of activity that helps you overcome this problem.

A simple app for the Pomodoro Technique

As I write, I am listening to Sleep an app that lets me set time for focused background music. Set for 25 minutes, the length of time of a Pomodoro timer. Developed in the 1980’s by Francesco Cirillo, the Pomodoro Technique is used by many to split up their work into short bursts of concentrated effort.

The original technique included the physical act of winding a kitchen timer – in the shape of a Pomodoro tomato. The physical movement acts as a stimulus to get something done. Although I use an app for the timer I fit in a set of pushups before I start a Pomodoro. I find that this gets me physically switched on to the task in hand.

Personally, this works great for me. No matter what I need to do from writing to researching I know I can focus for at least 25mins. Was I to try and tackle a project as a whole my brain would naturally try and make me procrastinate. I would end up spending time on something easier – or busier. Using time spent on a task; rather than “I must complete this today” energy actually means I am faster at ticking through things on my todo list. 

Enjoy setting goals

I now enjoy writing my goals and spending short 25 mins bursts on them. Whereas before an item might sit on my todo list for days or weeks as it felt so big. Now I feel motivated to take on the item. The speed element also helps. Tasks that may have taken me an hour to complete before I can now complete in a single Pomodoro session. Aided considerably by my efforts to learn how to touch type whilst during the lockdown. In fact, I spent 25mins on each session of practice to learn how to touch type. 

I look forward to exploring other productivity tips as I improve my personal workflow. I know though that the Pomodoro Technique is here to stay. 

Have you used the Pomodoro Technique? I know there are a few variations out there and I am always keen to hear of other tips.

James O'Donnell
James O'Donnell

James is on a mission to put the Social back into Social Media!