Ok, let’s be honest……who finds it easy to get distracted and waver from the task we are working on? (ME!). When I began to self reflect as to how productive my days were and how I used my time, I realised that some tasks took longer than they should because I lacked structure in the way I approached them. So what was the solution to achieve more in a day? The Pomodoro Technique.
The Pomodoro Technique was created by Francesco Cirillo in the 1980’s. It simply suggests that our brains cannot sustain periods of intense productive work/concentration for greater than 25 – 30 minutes at a time. Longer than this and we begin to lose focus. The structure is simply this:
- Set a timer for 25 minutes.
- Work on that high demand task with no distractions. (I put my phone or airplane mode, turn off notifications and close my emails).
- When the timer sounds, take a 5 minute break. (I suggest physically walking away from the task and any screens. Go for a walk, stretch the legs and have some water.)
- Repeat this 4 times.
Do you need to do this every day, for everything you work on? I suggest not. However I find it really beneficial for when I am working on tasks that are complex and require deep thought. I will not use this for periods of the day when I am, for example, doing emails, preparing a socials post or researching.
Personally, I believe you can strengthen the brain like a muscle in your leg or your arm. After a period of doing this at 25 minutes you may find you can extend this out to 30 minutes and 35 minutes. So far I have found that 40 minutes is the upper limit for me, and even physically, just sitting for 40 minutes should be the limit in my opinion. Give yourself permission to get up, step away, re-focus your eyes and your brain then return to the task.