“Collecting productivity porn on Pinterest is not productive”.
This paraphrased quote comes from none other than the productivity master, Graham Allcott, author of How to Be a Productivity Ninja. It made me laugh out loud as I considered my many secret Pinterest boards full of awesome ways to get stuff done. This is definitely a book to read if you want to debunk productivity myths. It was this book that made me go from productivity porn collector to pomodoro productivity master by showing me that more action on my part was needed if I was going to get things done.
What is Pomodoro Productivity
Pomodoro productivity is the use of the Pomodoro Method to wade through your to-do list, to get things done, it helps you enjoy some productivity and I would be lost without it.
The idea behind the Pomodoro method is to work for 25 minutes solidly on a chosen task.
- After 25 mins you take a 5 minute break.
- After your 5 minute break, you get back to it for 25 minutes.
- Take another short break.
- After 4 consecutive pomodoro sessions take a longer break.
Why Pomodoro Productivity Works
By choosing one task to work on I am giving it my full attention. For 25 minutes nothing else matters other than that task. I only have 25 minutes so I don’t want to jump on emails, check Facebook or Twitter, or twiddle my thumbs. The pomodoro timer has become my favourite accountability partner.
Why Pomodoro Breaks are Important
Staying on track, especially when you’re working on something
boring not as exciting as other tasks requires effort. Forging on and maintaining focus seems easier when you have a treat at the end. That five-minute break is the goal. That five-minute break is the high five at the end of a focused work session.
Use your five minutes as you will. I get up, move, hydrate, wee if necessary, cast an eye over Facebook and my emails, stretch then restart. You’d be surprised how quickly you can move when you only have five minutes. This break is not only a reward, it is a way for you to enjoy a mental break before refocusing your efforts on the task at hand or the next piece on your to-do list.
How you use the pomodoro productivity method is up to you. Set a timer on your phone. Get an egg timer. Use a PC/laptop timer. I use the in-built Pomodoro timer found within KanbanFlow, a fabulous (free) task management tool that keeps me on track and also features Pomodoro reporting so you may keep track on how much you’ve managed to get done.
Here’s a KanbanFlow board as an example:
I use the free version of this tool and have for years. It is well worth looking up, whether you use the pomodoro technique or not.
I am yet to meet someone who is productive 100% of the time when working. We aren’t built that way and that’s fine. If however, you want to crank up your productivity during work times consider the pomodoro technique and give KanbanFlow a try.
I am that person who starts the week or month off with great intentions and a well laid out to-do list and finishes on Friday in a frazzled heap as I had to do 90% of the work in two days thanks to my well-honed procrastination skills. I’ll always be a procrastination master, I accept that and don’t have a problem with it. Apparently many creatives are procrastinators. What I did need to do is find a way to be aware of my procrastination and find ways to still get work done and enjoy doing it. Pomodoro productivity has helped me achieve this, and I’m grateful.