“One day we will be more creative, more productive and yet more relaxed.” --Francesco Cirillo.

Have you ever walked into work, overwhelmed by your lengthy to-do list, then defeated by the end of the day when you realize you didn’t do as much as you planned? Me too. In a perfect world, the more hours we work, the more we would get done within that time frame. But when your job accounts for multitasking, it can be easy to get sidetracked. Your focus goes from one thing to the other, and the next thing you know, you’ve completed bits and pieces of each item on your to-do list. You’re left with seemingly nothing done and even worse, burnout. Without structure in your work days, it can be difficult to accomplish everything you set out to do.

Time management techniques can help you take back control and reach the productivity levels you’ve been striving to achieve. One technique in particular that has been proven to be beneficial is the Pomodoro technique. Developed in the ‘80s by Francesco Cirillo, a college student at the time, this technique is based on breaking your work into time blocks with the incentive of having breaks in between. This helps maximize your productivity and eliminates distractions while you work. Other benefits of the Pomodoro technique include: Increased concentration Increased accountability Higher quality work Maintained drive Better time management skills Decreased back pain (icing on the cake, really).

Fun fact: Cirillo named this method “Pomodoro” (the Italian translation of “tomato”) after his tomato-shaped timer he used when he came up with the idea. The Pomodoro technique works almost like high-intensity interval training - you focus on a task for a short amount of time and give yourself time to cool off before working on the next task. It provides a great balance between work and breaks. The traditional Pomodoro sessions are 25 minutes of work with 5 minute breaks in between. Once you’ve completed a pomodoro, you put a check mark on a piece of paper to indicate the task is done.After you’ve completed four pomodoros, you get a 20-30 minute break. Sounds simple enough, right? That’s all there is to it. No more procrastinating or pushing through your work for hours and not seeing results.

According to the Pomodoro website, over 2 million people have implemented it to “transform their lives.” (https://francescocirillo.com/pages/pomodoro-technique)

Allowing yourself to recharge provides you with the mental clarity to have a fulfilling work day. Dread responding to emails? Or scheduling conferences? The Pomodoro technique makes those tasks feel a little bit more bearable when given a selected slot of your time during the day. Plus,it’s rewarding being able to cross those suckers right off your to-do list and move onto work you enjoy doing. The best thing about the Pomodoro technique isthat it is very easy to personalize to your likes/dislikes at work and still see results you’re proud of. You can stack three sessions for a bigger project and give yourself a longer break, or prioritize what you’re going to do based on its urgency. To get the most out of the technique, you should set clear objectives, estimate how much effort it will take to finish a task and create time tables to give yourself a deadline of when to finish a task. It’s crucial to pay no attention to other work and to tune out any sort of notifications in order to have successful Pomodoro sessions. If distractions come up, write them down and move on with your Pomodoro. Once you’ve completed your time block, you can return to what you wrote down. The Pomodoro technique is an exceptional way to organize your time, boost your productivity and recognize the importance of downtime.

Want to stay motivated while you work? Here are a few Pomodoro apps available to help you stay right on track: PomoDone (Web, Mac,Windows, Linux, iOS, Android) Focus Booster (Web, Mac, Windows, iOS, Android)Focus To-Do: Pomodoro Timer & To-Do List (Mac, Windows, iOS, Android) FocusKeeper (iOS) Mariana Timer (Web) For more information on becoming a Pomodoro expert, visit Francesco Cirillo’s website here: https://francescocirillo.com/.

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