Tomatoes for the pomodoro method

Now that Easter is over it’s time to start being productive again!

If you’re constantly researching hacks to increase your productivity, you’ve probably come across the Pomodoro Method. I have a tough time with procrastination and staying productive as well. When I read about this simple and straightforward productivity method, I was intrigued and decided I had to try it.

What is the Pomodoro Method?

The premise of the Pomodoro Method is really simple. Basically, you work for 25 minutes straight on ONE task or project, giving it your full focus. After 25 minutes have passed, you take a break for five minutes and start the process again. This is supposed to keep your mind fresh and active and avoid burning out. After four Pomodoros (four blocks of 30 minutes), you take a longer, 15-20 minute break. The Pomodoro includes the 25 minutes working time and the 5 minutes break. Many use a timer or an app to time their progress. My favorite right now is Forest!

How the Pomodoro Method Increases Productivity

The Pomodoro Method keeps you focused on one task and helps you avoid distractions such as your phone or the internet (unless you’re actually using it to work).
Frequent breaks help you stay fresh and focused and 25 minutes really isn’t that long.
This in turn helps you get tasks and projects done in a more quick and efficient manner, minimizing the time spent procrastinating.
Best of all – this method is completely free! All you need is a timer!

The Flexible Pomodoro Method

Here’s the thing: 25 minutes are not that long, especially if you’re working on bigger tasks such as producing a song. It’s nothing, it’s barely enough time to start working.
Purists of the Pomodoro Method will argue that it’s essential to stick to 25 minutes + 5 minutes break, but I disagree.

I do set my timer to 25 minutes and pick a task, because that helps me focus on a specific area (in my case for example, sound design, mixing, recording etc.) but if the time is up and I’m right in the middle of the process, I skip the break. Sometimes it just doesn’t feel necessary and just distracts my workflow.

I do however like to keep track of how many 25 minute work blocks I get done though, which is why I still use it.
If I only have 15 or 20 minutes left, I just set the timer to reflect that. I don’t care if a Pomodoro is 25 minutes. It counts if you do less! It’s still time that goes towards your project or goal. What if you only have 20 minutes until a meeting starts? Do you just do nothing because you can’t fit a Pomodoro in?

My Take on the Pomodoro Method

For me, a Pomodoro is an “excuse” to be more productive, and this modified version works for me.
If I obsess too much about doing something which is against the rules of the system. I’ll just feel annoyed, anxious and end up quitting. I hate the feeling of being limited or constrained in some way.
I’d much rather have a system that allows me to bend the rules, even if others don’t agree.
As long as I get work done, I really don’t care whether I spend 25 or 50 minutes on a task. After all, it’s not cheating if it helps you get work done, right?

So while not everyone might be on the same page, I say it’s ok to change the Pomodoro Method to fit your needs rather than the other way round. Tweak it to your heart’s content!

Does the Pomodoro Method work for you? Do you have your own version of a modified Pom? Let me know!

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