How Does A Tomato Increase My Productivity?



Sound like a joke? It’s not! It’s the Pomodoro Technique.

I love my job; unfortunately I also love making tea, choosing a song on iTunes, checking facebook and I compulsively check emails and can’t leave an email without replying. For me, focus is essential to make the most of my potential and increase my productivity.

Motivation isn’t a problem for me, time management, however, is. I work well under pressure, love deadlines and need boundaries. That’s enough about me, but if you’re similar I have found a fantastic time management tool.

Time management is the key to keeping focused and the Pomodoro Technique works on the idea that frequent breaks improve mental agility, along with the theory that time creates an incentive to complete a set task.

Following the Pomodoro Technique is simple

- Decide on the task to be done. Be sure to write it down!

- Set your timer to 25 minutes

- Work on the task for 25 minutes, mark completion with an x

- Take a short 5 minute break

- After every 4 pomodoro sessions take a slightly longer break.

Although the traditional way of measuring allotted time is using a tomato shaped kitchen timer (as the linguists among you will know “pomodoro” is Italian for “tomato”), as our friends at Apple would say there is, in fact, an App for that.

A quick Google of “Pomodoro App” will give you lots of options; I use the Mac specific Pomodoro app- that has the ability to be integrated with my Twitter feed. A PC friend of mine uses the PC and Mac enabled Focus Booster Application. There are even pomodoro apps for your iPhone! Each of these sits in your desktop as a reminder of how long you have left in your current pomodoro.

As well as keeping me focused and increasing my productivity, using the pomodoro technique also helps me keep an organised record of the tasks I’ve completed and how long it took me; in my eyes this kills the two proverbial birds with one stone!

And on that note, my buzzer has sounded; it must be time for a cuppa…

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