Have you ever tried focussing on your work, whether it be studying for an exam or writing a business proposal, but find yourself checking your phone every five minutes? Before you know it, half an hour has passed, and you’re still browsing your Instagram feed checking out cute cats and the latest memes.
Is there a way to train your attention and focus level? The good news is that there is! The pomodoro technique is a systematic approach to help you increase your productivity.
The Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro Technique was developed by Francesco Cirillo in the 1980s. The basic premise is that you can break your workflow into short bursts of hyper-focussed sessions and enjoy short breaks in between. Without breaks, you may get too exhausted after a work session that is too long and give up for the day. On the other hand, it’s so easy to take too many breaks when not keeping track either. The Pomodoro technique aims to optimize focus and rest by tracking our workflow.
To start trying the Pomodoro Technique, you can follow these 5 simple steps:
- Chose a task you want to work on
- Set a timer for 25 minutes
- Dive into the task until the timer rings
- Take a short 5 minute break
- Repeat, and every 4 Pomodoro sessions, take a longer break
Of course, the work and break time-lengths can be adjusted to your preference. Feel free to try out different work periods.
Try the pomodoro technique yourself! I found the technique helpful myself when I’m trying to get some work done. Thinking about completing whole projects feel daunting and anxiety ensues. Instead, breaking the project into small goals helps me stop procrastinating as much. Focusing on only the next twenty-five minutes is so much less intimidating.
Another tip for you: if you have a tendency of always grabbing your phone, I recommend you to download the Forest App. The app lets you “plant trees” which take 25 minutes to grow. During this time, if you fidgeting fingers end up on your phone, it will remind you to put it down. If you give up, the cute tree will die.
Forest is a great way to help you adopt the Pomodoro Technique. Otherwise, there are numerous other apps that you can try that will give the same functionality. There’s really no excuse, since you can even use a traditional timer on your phone. Good luck, and unlock your productivity!