We all know how hard it is to stay motivated when your routine is turned upside down and you are confined to the four walls of your home, it may be cosy, but it doesn’t necessarily inspire productivity!
So we thought we would share a tip that one of the members of the Dalton Park HQ team came across last year when circumstances meant she had to work from home for a few months. It has been dug out again and is proving to be a great way to stay focused and productive in these very disruptive times.
If you haven’t heard of it before let us introduce to the Pomodoro Technique®!
Pomodoro is the Italian word for Tomato. The inventor Francesco Cirillo, named this technique after a tomato shaped kitchen timer that he started to use to track his work. He developed the time management tool in the 1980’s but the simple principles behind it means it is just as useful today.
The main principles of a “Pomodoro” are:
- Decide on the task or tasks to be done
- Set a timer for 25 minutes
- Work on the task until the alarm sounds
- Then take a 5 minute break
- Repeat steps 1 – 4
The aim is to not have any external distractions get you off track and within each 25 minute interval you remain focused on the single task at hand.
You repeat this throughout the day and after every 4 Pomodoro’s you take a 15 – 30 minute break. It is really helpful to set a timetable for your full working day and think about which tasks can be completed during each Pomodoro, you also then get the satisfaction of ticking them off as you complete each task.
Although a “Certified Pomodoro Master” may disagree with this, you can go a little bit off plan and play around with the length of time in your Pomodoro. Just keep in mind the main principles are to help you manage your time, keep you focused and gives your day some structure, something we all seem to be craving at the moment! You also don’t have to use a kitchen timer that’s is shaped like a tomato! The alarm app on your mobile phone will do just fine!
This technique also provides other benefits other than time management. When working from home, we don’t always have the set-up we are lucky to have at work, a lot of us will make do with a kitchen bench or even the sofa so the regular 5 minute breaks can really help with our posture. When hearing the buzzer, use the opportunity to stand up and stretch your back and move around. It also helps manage the tea or coffee consumption!
The Pomodoro Technique® is a registered trademark of Francesco Cirillo.