If you’ve ever used the Pomodoro Technique, you’ve probably noticed an increase in productivity and focus. But most people aren’t aware that there’s a lot more you can do with it. The way that it breaks up your day can lead to some powerful benefits.
Let’s take a look at some less traditional methods to apply the Pomodoro Technique to. If you’re not familiar with it, check out the basics of Pomodoro first.
1. Goal Setting
Have you ever finished a day and felt like you didn’t get enough done? Sometimes you might have actually had a productive day, but just weren’t sure once it was over. One of the first, best, and easiest ways to make the most out of your Pomodoro practice is setting micro-goals.
If you decide to accomplish 10 complete Pomodoros in one day and complete this, you can be confident that you did your best that day. Even if the day wasn’t the most productive, you can rest easy knowing you met your productivity goal.
If you do Pomodoros right and only count the ones you did without distraction, doing 10 a day is quite productive! It’s also a good idea to give yourself thresholds. For instance: if you finish 12, you’re a hero; complete eight, and you still did great.
2. Time Management
Doing Pomodoros is a great way to stay on track for short bursts of time. In the same vein, planning your days around your Pomodoros is an excellent overall management technique.
If you find you get sucked into one task but neglect other essential tasks, planning your days in terms of Pomodoros can help greatly.
For example, you can set aside one Pomodoro a day for responding to emails. Or if you need to handle a small project, you can assign three Pomodoros on Tuesday to knock it out.
If you keep irregular hours, using Pomodoros for time management can help you do the work you need to whenever you can.
3. Time Tracking
After you’ve spent some time planning your weeks around how many Pomodoros you finish, you can start tracking them on a spreadsheet. There are two ways to do this.
You can plan ahead using the time management technique and listing all the Pomodoros you wanted to get done that week. As you go through the week, highlight the items you finished.
The second technique is less rigid: list the overall projects you want to work on that week. You can set goals for the number of poms you want to finish and add them to the total as you complete them.
4. Project Management
If you manage projects for a small team of people, you can use Pomodoros to increase productivity and better track how everyone spends their time. The tricky part can be getting everyone on board to use the Pomodoro Technique. But once you do, this gets a lot easier.
If you get employees to use the techniques above to track their time, you can find out exactly how long a task or project took down to the half-hour. Even better, you’ll know that the time spent on that project was optimized by using Pomodoros.
You can also assign people to research projects and make sure they don’t go down any rabbit holes by limiting the amount of Pomodoros they can spend on that project.
5. Improving Estimates
This is a more advanced technique that becomes easier after you have a good amount of experience using Pomodoros to manage time. After you’ve become confident at tracking your Pomodoros, you’ll start to get a feel for how many cycles certain tasks take. Once you get used to this, you can give clients much sharper estimates.
For example, a graphic designer might need to give a client an estimate of how long it will take to deliver a landing page design. If the designer has done enough of this type of work, they can give clients highly accurate estimates within a tight range.
6. Billing Clients
Once you’ve gotten used to tracking everything you do with Pomodoros, it becomes a snap to see exactly how much time you spent on every aspect of each project. All you have to do is look at your week as you tracked it and find the work you did for your client.
There are at least two benefits of using Pomodoros for billing. One is that your charges will match your estimates more closely. Another is that you can bill your clients down to the half-hour, showing them that you respect their time and money.
Bonus: 10 Five-Minute Break Time Activities
Doing something productive during your break is a great way to maximize your day. Meanwhile, doing something relaxing is a great way to manage stress. Here are some ideas to put into practice.
1. Take a Walk Around the Block
Exercise is a proven way to reduce stress and improve overall health and well-being. Using it as a break time activity can help ensure that you’re doing something physical throughout the day.
2. Limit Social Media Usage to Break Time
One of the benefits of doing Pomodoros is that you can keep yourself off social media. But you can also use it to limit the time spent on social media if you have a problem with using it too much.
3. Check Email During Breaks or During a Dedicated Pom
Email can be a huge time suck. A five-minute break is the perfect time to work on getting your inbox to zero. And if you need to send responses, schedule a Pomodoro for getting through those.
4. Shop for Productivity Books
Many highly successful people, like Tim Ferriss, read at least one book a week. Five minutes is all it takes to pick up a great one; Ferriss’s own Tools of Titans is full of good advice.
5. Watch Just One YouTube Video
YouTube can be a huge time suck if you get into the rabbit hole of videos. But if used responsibly, it can also take your mind off work for a few minutes.
6. Clean the House or Tidy Your Desk
You might be surprised by how much cleaning you can get done in just five minutes. And if you do five minutes of cleaning multiple times a day, you can keep your place spotless.
7. Get Some Water or Coffee
It’s a good idea to stretch your legs and hydrate, so take a walk to the water cooler or fridge. Or if you’re still ramping up, you can grab a cup of coffee.
8. Draw or Doodle to Ease Your Brain
You can keep a pad of paper and a pencil in your desk drawer and pull it out to give your analytical brain a much-needed break. If you want to get serious, you can use YouTube to learn to draw.
9. Play With Your Kids or Pets
If you work from home, this is a great way to use your break. There’s no better way to interrupt your work than to give someone or something a big hug.
10. Read an Article on MakeUseOf
Reading this was a great way for you to spend five minutes, and there are many more articles like it on the site.
Think Out of the Box With Pomodoro
Hopefully, you now have a better idea on how to apply the Pomodoro Technique to other aspects of your life. With some time invested, you can really supercharge both your working and relaxing time.
If you’re after something different, take a look at some unique productivity techniques you haven’t heard of.
Read the full article: Step Up Your Pomodoro Productivity With These 6 Methods