The time spent creating something can be endless if not properly managed. A simple and efficient way to manage your creative hours is by using the Pomodoro method and setting specific goals at the end of each session. Specifically, the technique is effective because it: 1) makes it easy for you to start a task; 2) allows you to monitor the time you spend on a task; 3) helps minimize distractions; 4) makes your difficult tasks look easy and doable; 5) helps you develop a routine, and 6) reminds you to rest in between tasks.
Have you ever stared at your computer screen endlessly while working on a project and had no idea how much time had passed? Yes, the time spent creating something can be endless if not properly managed. This can lead to wasting hours a day without accomplishing anything meaningful.
If you're looking for a way to increase efficiency and focus, this blog is for you. Let's look at a simple technique to stop that: The Pomodoro Technique by Francesco Cirillo.
Saving precious creative hours with tomatoes
You've probably heard of the concept of working in 25-minute blocks of time, taking a 5-minute break between each, and repeating these cycles six times. This is known as the Pomodoro technique. Pomodoro is Italian for "tomato," and it's actually inspired by the tomato-shaped timer Francesco Cirillo found after conceptualizing the technique. It presents a disciplined, scientific approach to creating consistently high levels of productivity. Here are five steps for implementing the Pomodoro Technique:
1. Choose a task to be done.
2. Set a timer for 25 minutes (or however long you decide).
3. Work on the task until the timer rings, and then put a checkmark on a piece of paper, in a spreadsheet, or in an app as proof that you've completed the task in 25 minutes.
4. Take a five-minute break to do whatever you want, and
5. After 4-5 continuous cycles of 25-minute work, give yourself a longer 15-20-minute break.
While taking the time to create can be a great exercise in developing personal skills, the time spent can be better served by focusing on the development of a creative process. So how exactly will the Pomodoro technique help you make better use of your time?
The Pomodoro Technique makes it easy for you to start a task.
Many people have trouble getting started because they lose steam once they sit down at their desks—the actual process of sitting down and just starting can be exhausting, and even once you've started, it can be hard to get through the mental block of just doing the work. The Pomodoro technique sidesteps all of that with a simple way to get started: decide how long you're going to work and then set a timer for that length of time. It doesn't matter if you have three tasks or one—just commit yourself to work for that amount of time, and then when the timer goes off, you stop working.
The Pomodoro Technique allows you to monitor the time you spend on a task.
Creative work is hard. There's no getting around it, but there are ways to deal with the difficulty in a way that makes your work better and you are more productive. The most basic way to make your creative work hours go smoother is by tracking how much time you spend on each task so that you can see how long everything takes and learn how to be more efficient about what you do. The Pomodoro technique is an easy way to track your time and use it to improve, and it works by making it easy for you to start on a task.
The Pomodoro Technique helps minimize distractions.
The power of this timing structure is in its ability to help you switch off from distractions and work at a continuous pace for a specific task. Phone calls, emails, or the simple sound of a notification "ping" can easily interrupt you at any time, leaving you with an unfinished task or an unfinished piece of writing. The Pomodoro Technique helps you get your work done by keeping you from getting sidetracked by these kinds of things.
The Pomodoro Technique makes your difficult tasks look easy and doable.
Time management is a challenge for most writers and creatives, but the Pomodoro Technique can help you get more done in less time. It may be simple, but it works because it breaks down your task into manageable chunks that help you stay focused throughout the process of finishing your project. If a task is too long or too important to set a specific time limit for it, you can use the technique to add those tasks up at the end of the day. Doing this, it allows you to make sure that everything gets done and nothing falls through the cracks.
The Pomodoro Technique helps you develop a routine.
When you're trying to break an old habit and form a new one, it's hard to develop that new routine because you're so aware of how long you're spending doing the old thing. If you're trying to get into the habit of designing an entire project every time you sit down at your desk, but you have to force yourself to do it, and if you feel like a failure because some days it doesn't happen, it's harder to get comfortable with the new pattern.
The Pomodoro Technique can help by making sure your focus is on getting into the routine of conceptualizing, designing, or editing for 25 minutes straight, not on whether or not you're succeeding at that goal on each individual day. In short, it's extremely helpful for organizing and streamlining your work time.
The Pomodoro Technique reminds you to rest in between tasks.
Something that gets less attention but can be just as important when it comes to maintaining steady productivity is rest. When you've been focused on work for a while, it's easy to get in the zone. You're in the flow, your mind is far from the distractions of the day-to-day, and you're just completely immersed in what you're doing. But then an hour passes, and suddenly you realize that your back hurts and you haven't taken a break.
If it's been more than two hours, you're probably more tired than you would be if you'd actually stopped to rest like you were supposed to. The Pomodoro Technique helps keep your creative work sessions from becoming too draining simply because you're taking regular breaks. When you take the time to rest your mind, you don't risk burning out early in your project.
By using this productivity technique, you'll be able to identify which tasks and projects to prioritize over others. While it might sound like a simple solution to the problem of being distracted, it actually forces you to think about what you're doing when you work. It's not a magic pill that will make your creative process go smoothly, but it is a way to reevaluate how you spend your time and get a better result out of it.
All in all, the five main tips of the Pomodoro technique, as outlined above, can be used to get more work done by enhancing your efficiency and creativity. If you consistently use these tactics, they will become a part of your daily routine and will naturally help you become more productive in maintaining a healthy creative lifestyle. So, give it a try and see if it suits your workflow best.