Businesses, governments and economists alike have been debating the cause of the UK’s ‘productivity crisis’ for over a decade.
With productivity languishing 30% lower than the USA and 35% lower than Germany – it’s a slide which cannot be ignored. Whilst the brain-boxes tackle the issue from in front of their whiteboards, here’s a not-so-secret technique which will revolutionise the way you work. You’ll get more done in less time – all thanks to a tomato.
Developed in the late 1980’s by Francesco Cirillo, the Pomodoro Technique is a simple and powerful time management technique. Using a timer, the user breaks down their work into 25-minute segments. After each segment is completed, the user takes a short break. After four cycles, the user takes a long break. Cirillo used a tomato-shaped egg timer as a university student, and Pomodoro is Italian for… tomato!
- Decide on the task to be done.
- Set the Pomodoro timer (traditionally to 25 minutes).
- Work on the task until the timer rings.
- After the timer rings, put a checkmark on a piece of paper.
- If you have fewer than four checkmarks, take a short break (3–5 minutes), then go to step 2.
- After four Pomodoros, take a longer break (15–30 minutes), reset your checkmark count to zero, then go to step 1.
- Use a tomato-shaped egg timer – obviously!
- Use the timer on your mobile phone
- Download an app to your computer or phone (plenty are available)
Practically, the Pomodoro Technique requires a degree of self-discipline. You’ll need to hold yourself to remaining undisturbed and focussed throughout each segment of time.
To be true to the technique, you should discount every segment in which you’re disturbed. It’s a tough ask, though it is amazing what you can achieve when holding yourself to it.
When working on a Pomodoro segment, you are alone with the task in hand.
Have your say in our interactive poll below. What works for you?
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