Focused Work [Pomodoro Technique]
SUPERHUMAN SCORE: 8.25
Written by: Ben Meer | January 29, 2023
Fix your focus with The Pomodoro Technique—a proven cadence of work and rest for productivity.
A System For
Most people spend their workday in a never-ending cycle of procrastination and distraction.
The constant tug-of-war between completing your to-do list and succumbing to the allure of social media (and other distractions) can be overwhelming & disheartening.
But what if there was a way to break free from this cycle?
Enter the Pomodoro Technique, a time management method that has been a lifesaver for countless individuals.
Developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s, this technique is a simple yet effective way to boost productivity and focus.
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The Pomodoro Technique is based on breaking down work into 25-minute intervals, called “Pomodoros,” followed by a short 5-minute break.
By focusing on one task for a set period, and then taking a break, the technique helps to increase productivity AND prevent burnout.
Why this works:
- 25 minutes of pure focus is science-backed: It's cognitively challenging but feels attainable.
- Parkinson's Law says, work expands to fill the allotted time. You can limit perfectionism by giving yourself a time limit. (Though it's perfectly acceptable for bigger tasks to extend longer than one Pomodoro.)
- If you're a bit competitive like me, gamifying work with Pomodoros can be fun and motivating.
Getting started is easy:
- Identify a task you want to complete
- Set your timer for 25 minutes and begin working
- When the timer goes off, take a short 5-minute break
- Complete up to four Pomodoros (steps 2-3)
- After the 4th Pomodoro, take a longer break (about 15-20 minutes)
- I like Focus To-Do (free Google Chrome extension) for the timer.
- Turn off mobile and desktop notifications to reduce distraction. Even better, put your phone out of reach—to stop unconscious checking.
I often don't use The Pomodoro Technique during my morning deep work writing block. The reason: Over the years, I've trained myself to write in flow for a few hours. And I don't believe in interrupting flow states unnecessarily.
But if you struggle to focus for 25 minutes, try a single Pomodoro. It's a wonderful place to start.
I especially like The Pomodoro Technique to refocus my attention after lunch. There I'll target shorter—less creative—admin tasks.
BRINGING IT HOME
Remember: It's not about perfection. It's about progress.
Nail one Pomodoro of pure focus, then stack another.
With each Pomodoro, you'll be one step closer to reaching your goals.
Try this technique on Monday and see the difference.
All systems go,
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