Ash Roy: 00:00
Have you ever felt so overwhelmed with tasks or projects that you’ve wanted to tear your hair out? I have and I did. In this episode, I’m going to talk about the Pomodoro technique and how you can use the Pomodoro technique to vanquish overwhelm once and for all. Welcome to part four of this productivity 2020 series. Be sure to watch all the way through to the end of this episode because I’m going to put a slightly different spin on the Pomodoro Technique, which is going to help you to grow your business profitably and fast. And that little tweak is this little secret that helps you to evaluate each Pomodoro that enables you to get the most out of each successive Pomodoro. So stay tuned. At the time of this recording in January 2020, we are actually using this specific technique within our membership program and it’s getting spectacular results for our members.
Ash Roy: 01:01
You can find out more about the membership program by heading over to GetMeToDone.com. Now, if you’re listening to the podcast version of this episode, then be sure to check out the video version on our YouTube channel, which you can access at youtube.com/ProductiveInsights. Okay, so back to the Pomodoro technique. You’re probably wondering what the heck is a Pomodoro? I’ll explain the technique to you, but before I do, I just want to do a quick recap on the first three episodes in this productivity 2020 series. In part one of this series, they looked at the Eisenhower matrix and saw that the important activities aren’t always those that appear urgent in your workflow. However, these important but not urgent activities contribute to your business growth in a massive way if executed consistently and before they become urgent and important. Ignore these quadrant two activities for long enough and you’ll find yourself in a crisis situation where things that are urgent and important and they are going to be a huge drag on your resources.
Ash Roy: 02:07
So if you haven’t already watched it, I highly recommend you go back and check out part one of this productivity 2020 series, which you can see right here and I’ll link to it below this video in the notes. Then in part two, we talked about systems and why’d they classify as a classic quadrant two activity, something that’s important but not necessarily urgent. But the thing about systems is once you’ve built them, they keep on giving and they are one of the most leveraged ways for you to use your time and grow your business through delegation and through your team. In that same episode, I explained how to get started but systems and I showed you a simple way to create a standard operating procedure using something like ScreenFlow or Camtasia and you can check that video out right here. I’ll also link to that one in the show notes.
Ash Roy: 02:59
Now in part three, we talked about the 80 20 rule and we saw that 20% of your efforts deliver 80% of your results. And if you take that a couple of levels further, approximately 1% of your effort delivers approximately 51% of your results. If you want to check out a really good conversation about this, you can check out this conversation where I spoke to Perry Marshall about how to use the 80 20 rule to grow your business exponentially. I’ll also link to that episode in the notes below this video. Okay, so back to the Pomodoro technique. The Pomodoro technique was initially developed by Francesco Cirillo in the 1980s. Pomodoro is Italian for tomato. Now you might ask, what does a Pomodoro or a tomato have to do with productivity? Well, the answer is actually quite simple. Francesco Cirillo used a tomato-shaped timer when he measured his 25 minutes Pomodoro sprints, and that’s what we’re about to dig into now.
Ash Roy: 03:56
So the Pomodoro technique gets you to structure your work in 25 minutes sprints followed by five-minute breaks. That’s it. It’s really that simple. All you need to do is decide on what you’re going to focus on for the next 25 minutes and go hard just for those 25 minutes. Now your mileage may vary. Some people prefer to go over 35 minutes of sprints and 10-minute breaks. Some people prefer 50 minutes sprints and 15-minute breaks play with it and see what works best for you. But the idea is you work in specific concentrated periods of time and then you’ll take breaks consistently. This helps you pace yourself over the course of the day and you get much more value for your time invested. And as far as time has gone, you can just use one of these, look these zillions of timers out there.
Ash Roy: 04:51
Just pick one and use it. Okay, so why does this particular technique work so well? Well, I think the 25-minute time block fits nicely with the average attention span of a person who’s really focusing in today’s hyper distracted world with notifications flying at us from every direction and multiple screens. Being able to focus completely for a short period of time gives you a massive competitive advantage over the rest of the population and the five-minute breaks. They may seem disruptive at first, but after we’ve done it for a while, you’ll start to see that you really need them. Okay, so here are the five benefits of using the Pomodoro technique. One, it helps you stop procrastination in its tracks. How does it do that? Well, I don’t know about you, but I find that one of the biggest reasons for my procrastinating is when I feel overwhelmed with a huge task ahead of me.
Ash Roy: 05:48
And the Pomodoro technique forces me to break these big tasks or projects into bite-size 25-minute chunks, which brings me to the second reason the Pomodoro technique is so effective. It forces you to use a piecemeal approach to large projects and tasks and keeps you focused for those periods that you are choosing to focus on and allows you to enjoy the benefits of being focused for those breaks that you’re taking between. So once you start using the Pomodoro technique, you can say goodbye to all those really stressful, huge tasks and you can just focus on the little tasks in an incremental 25 minutes sprints. The third reason the Pomodoro technique works so well is that it reduces your tendency to multitask and multitasking, as far as I’m concerned, is poison when it comes to productivity. Multitasking causes context switching, which is a process of switching from one task to the other and is a massive, massive drain on your productivity.
Ash Roy: 06:49
The Pomodoro technique keeps you focused on one task at a time. Now the fourth benefit of the Pomodoro technique is the concentrated effort with the consistent breaks helps you to get in the flow. Now, if you are in the flow and you don’t want to take a break, that’s fine, but generally speaking, the Pomodoro technique really helps you build that momentum that leads to flow and flow, as we all know, is a massive way to increase productivity and it really makes you work that much more enjoyable. The fifth and final benefit of using the Pomodoro technique is that it helps you to build consistent momentum over time. If you stay in the flow for long enough during the day, you can move mountains. Now you might say, but Ash, this method doesn’t suit everyone and you’d be right. Some people find the 25-minute increments too restrictive for their workflow.
Ash Roy: 07:44
They prefer to work in longer increments and that’s fine. As I said before, your mileage may vary, so feel free to play around with the sprint times and the break times. Now, are you ready for the action steps? I’ve made it really easy for you. Just head over to productiveinsights.com/pomodoro and grab yourself the Pomodoro template. Print it out and start sprinting. Now I promised you that I would share a little tweak that is getting great results for our members in the productive insights membership program, which you can find out more about at GetMeToDone.com and I’ll link to that below. So what’s that little tweak here it is. After each Pomodoro sprint or 25-minute increment, I want you to evaluate how focused you were during that sprint. Using a scale of 1 to 10. 10 being very focused and 1 being unfocused.
Ash Roy: 08:40
And if you do this a couple of times, you’ll start to notice that your brain starts to work out what is going wrong and self-correct so that your focus moves towards 10 it’s simple but it brings awareness to your Pomodoros and awareness makes a big difference. Trust me, we’ve been doing it for a while and we are getting great results. If you’d like to join me on one of these Pomodoros with the rest of the productive insights members head over to GetMeToDone.com or send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll hook you up. Now, leave a comment below and let me know what you’re going to focus on in your next Pomodoro. Do that right now before you do anything else, so that way you’re committed to taking the first step and you’re more likely to get results. And don’t forget to subscribe to this channel so you never miss out on future useful updates and tips on how to increase your personal productivity and how to grow your business profitably and fast. Make sure you click on the bell icon so you get notified every time we publish a new episode.
Ash Roy: 09:45
Bye for now and I’ll talk to you soon.