Editors Note: This is a guest post on The Pomodoro Technique by Adunola Obiozor.
Motivation is often the missing ingredient in productivity. How do you continue creating work when you have no internal drive to do so? In many cases, we find ourselves producing because of external motivation, like pay checks, deadlines, obligations, and a desire to please. But, internal motivation also matters.
When you do diligent, focused work, you can create momentum that becomes motivation. The more tasks at which you succeed, the more driven you are to continue. One method of moving past procrastination and anxiety is the Pomodoro Technique.
What Is the Pomodoro Technique?
Developed by Francisco Cirillo in 1992, the Pomodoro Technique was designed to help students study more efficiently. The system can be boiled down to:
- Designate a task that must be completed.
- Set a timer for 25 minutes.
- Perform the task until the timer goes off. Then, put a check mark on a sheet of paper.
- Give yourself a short break. Five minutes is typically sufficient.
- Each time you reach 4 checks, give yourself a longer break. Typically, 20-30 minutes is sufficient.
These basics are often refined.
How Does the Pomodoro Technique Influence Your Work?
In addition to helping you focus while working on a task, The Pomodoro technique impacts your ability to conserve time in the future.
One long-term benefit is learning to approximate the amount of time tasks require. Once you are using the technique consistently, you can start determining how many Pomodoro sessions it will take to complete your work. This will keep you motivated when your energy wanes because you will be able to clearly see an end to the task.
You can also determine the amount of effort you need to devote to something. When you reach goals, you get a visual overview of the time you have put into your achievement. You no longer have to wonder where the time went.
The Pomodoro Technique allows you to set a schedule for the completion of tasks and clearly separates free time from work time. These timetables help to motivate you. You get to reward yourself with time off, which gives you a reason to move ahead with your work.
What Sort of People Benefit Most from the Pomodoro Technique?
The loudest voices in support of this motivational method are creative types, who have to drive themselves to dig deep and manifest work. These are people who are wholly responsible for things from conception to completion. So, authors working on a book are as likely to use it as software engineers creating an app.
But, it can also be used by people with more flexible goals. People with inboxes full of work or people who have a ton of tiny tasks to catch up on are better able to focus by working in the small chunks designated by the Pomodoro Technique. It’s a very adaptable method.
Remember that this is a productivity system, and it is not meant to be punishing. When you work, you can extend tasks beyond the timer if you feel focused and motivated. But, you must remember to take regular breaks, so that you don’t get burned out and kill your motivation.
You can find more on the Pomodoro Technique at: https://cirillocompany.de/pages/pomodoro-technique
Adunola Obiozor is an adjunct college instructor and writer who both uses the Pomodoro Technique and teaches it to her students. Her writing has appeared online and in print for numerous outlets. She focuses much of her work on teaching and social commentary. She is also a contributor at a www.addictions.com