Do you find yourself wanting to get so much more done but don’t know where to start? You’ve probably deduced that it’s a problem with motivation, and that is partially true. However, motivation can be hard to come by, and it can be even more difficult to draw out of thin air. Instead, you need to learn how to use time management as a path to motivation. The Pomodoro technique is one of the best modes of time management and can astound you with how much more motivation it gives you.
- Know how it works
The Pomodoro technique has a pretty basic structure. You take a task and set a timer for a certain interval. 25 minutes is a standard interval. When it rings, take a break for several minutes. Then, start the timer again and repeat the routine. When four cycles are over, you can take a more extended break (about half an hour). Then, you go back to the beginning. It works because it gives you structure and reasonable constraints to accomplish your tasks. A non-digital timer, such as a tomato-shaped Pomodoro timer, can make it easier to get into the mindset necessary to focus on your goals. Talk to people who have been using the Pomodoro technique for a while and ask how it why it works for them. You’ll likely get completely unique responses from each person, but they can all be valuable.
- Choose an achievable task
The Pomodoro technique is not for writing a novel in one sitting. You can work towards a larger goal, but it needs to be done with the understanding that the purpose of this technique is not to burn yourself out. If you’re working on a novel, you can start a Pomodoro timer to get 1,000 words written for the day. When broken up over 25-minute intervals, the intimidating nature of this task can be greatly reduced. You might be amazed by how much easier the Pomodoro technique makes everything. However, it’s crucial that you don’t go too far out of your comfort zone. By choosing a reasonable and achievable task, you can find yourself much closer to your long-term goals.
- Give yourself reasonable intervals
One of the biggest pitfalls of anyone trying to reach a goal is overestimating their motivation. While 25 minutes is a typical Pomodoro interval, it might be something you have to work your way up to. You can start with a trial run of about 10 minutes per interval. If you find this easy, then try 15, 20, and 25 minutes. With enough practice, 25 minutes will fly by and you’ll be able to get so much more accomplished. At this point, you can increase the length of your intervals and breaks.
- Keep disciplined with breaks
Breaks are part of why the Pomodoro technique works. They let you step away from your work and refresh yourself. When you find yourself immersed in a task, it can be hard to take yourself away from it. However, not taking breaks can be self-sabotaging and missing the point of the Pomodoro technique. Doing marathon sessions doesn’t prove anything other than you might be pushing yourself too hard. If your employees are doing the Pomodoro technique with something like Time Clock Wizard, make sure they are taking their breaks as needed. The Pomodoro technique can only work if all parts of it are being enforced.
- Stay on task
Setting the Pomodoro timer is the easy part. The hard part is making sure that you’re working all the way through. Before you get started on your tasks, you need to know exactly what needs to be done. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself losing focus and ultimately getting nowhere. If necessary, you might make an outline of the steps you need to take. You should also be getting things in place before you start the timer. That way, you won’t be wasting time. During your breaks, you can add to/cross items off your list. Make sure that you’re going at a reasonable pace, not dragging your feet or going to any kind of extreme.
- Listen to your body
Some days, you might be able to get through several Pomodoro cycles with no problems. On other days, you might find yourself getting worn out at the 20-minute mark of your first Pomodoro. There’s no need to prove anything. You might be feeling fatigued or sick on certain days. When this happens, you need to listen to your body and get the required rest. It can be humbling to admit that you need some refreshment, but that’s what comes with being a human. If you’re exhausted, a 25-minute power nap can let you get your energy back. As long as you are committed to the nature of the Pomodoro technique, you can reach your goals.
- Keep it up
The Pomodoro technique is a habit. Like any other habit, it needs to be nurtured. Your first few attempts might feel awkward, but they’re all part of your adaptation to this novel art of time management. Eventually, you’ll find yourself shifting into the Pomodoro mindset with ease and able to knock out tasks like they’re nothing. You can even inspire others by telling them about how much of a positive difference the Pomodoro technique has made in your life. If you are working a group project, this technique can help to keep everyone on task. The benefits of the Pomodoro technique are plentiful, from better focus to higher efficiency, but they can only be achieved if you’re consistent about it.
Some people think that motivation can only be achieved by a sudden surge of inspiration that makes you push yourself to your absolute breaking point. The good news is that you can work at a reasonable pace and still get plenty done. The Pomodoro technique doesn’t do your work for you, but it does give you an outline that makes it far easier to structure your tasks. You’ll be able to break things in a far more efficient manner and reach deadlines much sooner than before. Give the Pomodoro technique a shot and see just how much of a difference it makes in your life.