What is your Productivity Hack?

- by Deepak Subramanian

I have never been a big fan of productivity hacks. I keep things pretty simple. I list down my to do for the day in my notebook and then keep putting a tick mark against each task as I complete the same. I have been doing this ever since I started my career. This simple technique has worked well for me all these years.

I recently came across the Pomodoro Technique. I read about it and thought of giving it a try. I started following this technique since the beginning of September 2020. After trying this for several days, I feel my productivity levels have improved quite a bit.

So, what is the Pomodoro Technique? (Source Credit: Wikipedia)

The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. The technique uses a timer to break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks. Each interval is known as a Pomodoro, from the Italian word for “tomato”, after the tomato-shaped kitchen timer that Cirillo used as a university student.

The Pomodoro technique instils a sense of urgency because you have a ticking timer, and you know you only have a certain time in hand to work on a task. It helps you stay focussed through the day and avoids distractions.

The forced breaks make you feel less burnt out. Not just that, the ticking timer, reminds you to get up, take a breather and drink some water. Pomodoro works exceptionally well when you are working from your home office.

Being the person I am, I’m not particularly eager to sit in front of the computer for long hours. But after exploring this technique, I am able to focus much better. I wish I had explored this much earlier.

I downloaded a Pomodoro timer app called focus keeper on my iPhone. There are several Pomodoro apps available on the App Store and Play Store (for android users).

All in all, I was surprised to find that I liked the Pomodoro Technique, and I think it lived up to its promises of making me more focused and productive.

This technique is worth trying out on days when you don’t have many meetings with your colleagues, and your priority is to finish your tasks.

How I use the Pomodoro:

I have planned four- half days in a working week to finish my individual tasks, and I have used the Pomodoro while doing this. It has worked very well for me.

I am curious and still exploring how well it can be used for an entire workweek when your calendars are full :-)

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