What If I told you there is a deceptively simple technique to boost your productivity? One that’ll help you kick procrastination to the curb and help you better manage your time. Would you be interested? I bet you would!
The technique I’m going to share with you is a technique I use to get more done, in less time. It’s a technique I’m currently using to write this article in lightning fast time. And it’s a technique that one of the greatest copywriters of all time – Eugene Schwartz – mastered in his prolific career.
Using the technique he wrote for 3 hours a day and was able to write nine books, hordes of successful ads and articles for top publications, globally. For full details read this article by Copyblogger: How to Kill Writer’s Block and Become a Master Copywriter In Only 3 Hours A Day.
But don’t think that it’s only limited to the copy-writing field. In fact, It’s universally applicable, regardless of whether you’re a lawyer, fitness-freak, language enthusiast, student, developer, sales guru, blogger or even politician.
Okay, enough with all this “sales-pitchy” stuff. Let’s have a look at this simple technique that will boost your productivity.
How to Boost Your Productivity With The Pomodoro Technique
Pomodoro is Italian for tomato. Francesco Cirillo developed the Pomodoro technique in the late 1980’s. As someone who’s been actively involved in the software industry for over 20 years – working with many startups and multinationals – he’s always avidly focused on productivity and how people achieve the best results with minimal effort. So he created the Pomodoro technique to help people become more productive.
How the Pomodoro Technique Works
The Pomodoro Technique is a world renowned time management technique. I’ll explain it in five simple steps:
- Choose one core task, whether it’s writing an article, finalizing a contract, or putting together a sales pitch for a client.
- Set a timer for 25 min and focus only on that task (I’ll provide you with a list of Pomodoro apps you can download at the end of this article).
- Take a short break for 5 min.
- Rinse and repeat.
- Take an extended break after every four Pomodoros.
While 25 min is the standard, feel free to apply any time that suits you. For example, the famous copywriter Eugene Schwartz set his kitchen timer to 33.33 minutes. Yip, that exact time!
It sounds simple enough, right? But to master the technique you must complete certain objectives.
Master The Pomodoro Technique
Complete these six objectives to master the technique. The idea is to complete each objective first, before moving on to the next.
- Monitor how long it takes you to complete a task based on the number of Pomodoros. For example, it might take you three Pomodoros to complete an article.
- Cut distractions. Let’s face it, we live in a digital age where there are plenty of distractions like social media. So, focus only on the current task.
- Estimate how many Pomodoros you need for a certain activity
- Use the technique to recap and review your tasks.
- Create a timetable for all your tasks. Because you now know how many Pomodoros it takes to complete a task – you can estimate how much time to allocate during the day. For example, you may decide to dedicate 4 Pomodoros to learn a language, and a further 4 to studying in the evening. It’s great for organizing your work and creating free time.
- Find your own personal goal e.g. improve your Spanish speaking skills
That, in a nutshell, is the objectives to achieve if you want to master the technique and boost your productivity. Ultimately the more you practice, the better you’ll get.
Now, you may be thinking: “Where do I grab one of these Pomodoros?”
Well, I did some digging and managed to find a company in the states that deliver them. But to this day, I’m still waiting on that order. A pity really, because I can think of nothing better than having the actual tomato timer on my desk.
However, there are plenty of Pomodoro Apps and tools on the market you can download to solve the problem.
Pomodoro Apps and Tools to Boost Your Productivity
I’ve curated a list of five to get you started. Some are free. Others are more advanced, and so, you have to pay.
#1 Focus Booster
Focus Booster is a web and desktop application available for free. Upgrade for more advanced features like sliders to fine tune the length of your focus periods. The free version gives you 20 Pomodoro sessions per month but starting at $2.99 you can access 200, together with data exports.
PomoDoneApp’s power is that it integrates with your current task management services e.g.Basecamp, Trello, Asana, and Slack. The integrations are only available on the paid version, starting at €1/month for students.
#3 Pomodoro Keeper
Are you an Apple user looking for a timer for your mobile phone? Use the Pomodoro Keeper app. It provides several tutorials to get you started, automates the transition from work to break, and lets you set and track goals. It’s totally free.
#4 Marinara Timer
Marinara Timer is a web-based app created by the team at 352 Inc. It requires no download or installation and provides a unique URL for each time. A Unique URL means that if you’re in an office with a shared screen, you can sync everyone’s workflow.
#5 Marinara Pomodoro Timer Chrome Extension
I currently use the Marinara Pomodoro Timer Chrome Extension. It’s easy to install to your Chrome browser, allows you to set your focus and break time. Start using it by right clicking on the extension in your browser. As easy as that.
Wrapping It Up
While this is a deceptively simple technique, it takes practice to master, especially if you’re not used to working this way. So, why don’t you give it a go and let us know if it helps you boost your productivity?
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