Motivation and productivity are fickle and elusive things that can strike at a moment’s notice and disappear just as quickly. There’s no one way to entice motivation or productivity back, but there are smarter ways you can work to maximise both of these at one time.
One of these is the Pomodoro Technique. This isn’t a new method — it was created in the 1980s — but it could be helpful for those of you still working from home and struggling with motivation after months of the same thing.
Created by then-student Francesco Cirillo, the Pomodoro Technique — named after the tomato-shaped kitchen timer he used in this process — is a super simple way of breaking your time into increments in order to maximise efficiency.
To use the technique, you simply work in increments of 25 minutes (called Pomodoros) followed by a five-minute break and then after the break, you start another 25 minutes of work. This might sound deceptively simple, but this structured method of working allows you to immerse yourself in your task and can deliver great results.
Rule number one of the technique is that once you begin your Pomodoro, you must commit to it. “Make a small oath to yourself: I will spend 25 minutes on this task and I will not interrupt myself. You can do it! After all, it’s just 25 minutes,” reads Francesco Cirillo’s website.
If you happen to be interrupted during your Pomodoro, you must scrap your current session and start again post-interruption. Another rule is that you can’t work past your 25-minute time limit. As soon as the timer goes off, you must stop and take your five-minute break.
Cirillo says if you suddenly remember something you need to do at the end of your current session, write it down on a piece of paper and save it for the next working increment.
After every four Pomodoros, Cirillo recommends taking a longer break of 20 to 30 minutes.
“Your brain will use this time to assimilate new information and rest before the next round of Pomodoros,” he said.
Sectioning off your time into 25-minute chunks might not sound revolutionary but setting a timer and working to it creates a sense of urgency.
“Rather than feeling like you have endless time in the workday to get things done and then ultimately squandering those precious work hours on distractions, you know you only have 25 minutes to make as much progress on a task as possible,” says employment website, The Muse.
Working from home has changed the way we work — many of these positive changes — but it has also allowed many to spend hours behind the computer without realising it. The Pomodoro Technique forces you to take regular breaks, so you’re not feeling super frazzled — and dehydrated and hungry — by the end of the workday.
While this method definitely isn’t for everyone, it could be the productivity hack you’ve needed all along.