Being busy does not mean being productive. After I found out about the fact that I was being busy, but not as productive as I would love to be, bells started to ring. Some things needed to change in order to change the way I was working right now. I used a technique called ‘Pomodoro’ for 3 weeks and I want to share the experience and the results which I had.
1. Why did I do this?
Do you know that situation when you are doing a lot and you think: “O my god I am an absolute beast!” The fact, in reality, is that you have not really finished something. Then you start to think again and ask yourself: “Where did it go wrong?” I will tell you what did go wrong and this one reason is why I started using this Pomodoro technique.
The thing that goes wrong for almost everybody is the fact that we don’t organize things well. What do I mean with this? If you don’t prioritize the things which need to be done throughout your day from high to low then it can get pretty messy. This is the first thing I found out. The second one is the fact that we have a certain time of real focus. After this focus session ended, I really did not want to go on anymore and I wanted a break.
I started prioritizing my work more and suddenly I got better results. I really pushed myself to finish up the work first which I had higher on my priorities. It worked to a certain point, but yet again I just could not manage to stay concentrated for a long time. My record was around 50 minutes or so with full concentration. Which is not bad, but after those 50 minutes, it was hard getting my focus back again.
This is the main reason why I wanted to do an experiment with the Pomodoro technique.
2. Why the Pomodoro technique?
I felt that my focus level was to a certain point and this was really bothering me. I asked myself if there was a better way to keep focused. As I said, I had only a real focus level up until 50 minutes or so and after that, it was really difficult for me the regain my focus.
It worked really frustrating. I decided to search for a way which could help me make shorter sprints, finish more and have good focus throughout my working sessions. This actually describes the Pomodoro technique.
2.1 What is the Pomodoro technique?
The essence of the Pomodoro technique is actually very simple. You have 25 minutes of focused working and I mean like really focused. No cellphones or other social media things allowed. You can only do the work which you are determined to finish. So 25 minutes of work and afterward you have a 5-minute break. After the 5 minute breaks, you need to work for another 25 minutes again and have a 5-minute break again.
After completing a 25-minute work session, you have finished 1 Pomodoro. You keep doing this until you finish 4 Pomodoro’s. After the fourth one, you need to take a 20-minute break and start with a 25-minute work session again.
It is a cycle. But it is a great one because you have short sprints of intensive work. You may be thinking: “25 minutes? is that enough to even finish something?” Believe me, you can finish so much work within 25 minutes. It is crazy.
3. What did I learn?
This experiment was really great because it taught me a valuable lesson. If you don’t know how to manage your time and if you don’t know how to manage your tasks, you will soon get into a life which is busy but not productive.
First, prioritize the work that you really need to finish and then set some timeboxes for yourself. When do you want to finish a certain task or how long do you want to spend on one task?
If you are distracted quickly or after a while, you find it difficult to keep your focus throughout the day, then certainly try the Pomodoro technique it really helps. It helped me and that is why I wanted to share this with you.
Along the way, I used some great apps to help me with this journey. The apps are called:
Definitely have a look at these apps. They are great!
4. What has changed?
A lot has changed for me. The way I know this is because sometimes I don’t use the Pomodoro technique on purpose just to see how it will affect my work sessions. It is amazing to see how not disciplined I go to work. If I use the Pomodoro technique, suddenly I feel more urged to keep on focusing. I prioritize things better because I want to finish one certain task within a certain timebox.
The great thing is, you can choose how much focused work you want to do. Imagine that you do 4 Pomodoro’s every single day. That is 100 minutes of serious working. Can you imagine how much work you can finish by then? The most that I did was 6 Pomodoro’s. Give it a go!
In this post, I explained to you how my journey went with the Pomodoro technique for 3 weeks. It was a great experiment and it did a lot of good things for me. I hope you will give it a go. And remember: “Busy does not mean productive”
Before I forget, There are some great books about the Pomodoro technique. You can buy them by clicking on the links down below. Cheers!