How the Pomodoro Technique Made Me a Productive Developer and Writer (and can help you too)
A way to significantly boost productivity with intense focus
I believe that one of the biggest factors that holds people back from their goal is lack of focus.
Focus is the life-blood of progress. Without focus, you're not going to achieve your goals. Focus is your ability to put aside secondary tasks and instead channel your unwavering attention towards your main task or goal.
In one of my previous articles , I mentioned how poor time management proved to be my undoing as a web developer at the onset.
What is the Pomodoro Technique
The pomodoro technique is a highly effective pro-productivity strategy discovered by an Italian student, Francesco Cirrillo, in the 1980s.
Cirillo was a student struggling to focus on his studies. He challenged himself to commit just 10 minutes of his time to focused studying without any distractions. Encouraged by the challenge, he found a tomato (which is 'pomodoro' in Italian) shaped kitchen timer, and thus the Pomodoro technique was born.
Here are the core tenets of this technique:
Get a to-do list and a timer.
Set your timer for 25 minutes, and focus on a single task until the timer rings.
When your session ends, mark off one pomodoro and record what you completed.
Then enjoy a five-minute break.
After four pomodoros, take a longer 15-30 minute break.
How I discovered this technique
I first learnt about this technique from the radio on my way to a lecture.
After that I did some further research and came across an amazing Tedtalk on it's effectiveness. After getting blown away by it's novelty, I decided to incorporate it into my lifestyle.
Everyday, I would commit at least 30-50 minutes to writing. It didn't matter if my work was structured or meaningful, I just wrote. I made sure to get rid of all distractions. My phone was always switched off.
I tried to pen down my thoughts without thinking much about anything else.
Even with my limited time, I was able to achieve some incredible feats. I published at least four articles on my blogs every week.
This wouldn't have been possible without focused work and dedication which results from implementing the technique.
Daily coding routines was something else I got serious about. I dedicated at least 1 hour of my time to programming websites and designing pages.
I also listed out 5 web technologies which I dedicated at least 1 hour per day to learn.
After every session, I got more and more self-assured of my abilities. My React skills started getting better and better. I have also extensively used other libraries like GraphQL and Redux.
And perhaps the most important, my CSS skills got significantly better.
Honestly, this technique can do wonders to your programming skills if properly utilized.
Content creation on Twitter
This technique also made me much more productive on Twitter. When in implementation, I went from around 8,000 to currently 11,100+ followers within 5 weeks!
With the pomodoro technique, I was able to dramatically scale up my productivity despite having the same limited amount of time.
Not only have I made myself more productive, I have trained myself to be disciplined, habitually focused and also more aware of how valuable my time is.
The pomodoro technique opens your eyes to your true capabilities and shows you just how much you can achieve if you manage your time well and eliminate all forms of distractions.
Also, thanks to this technique, I am able to set a time limit to everything I do. That way, I don't get carried away or preoccupied by a particular task.
For some endless tasks like reading or scrolling through my Twitter feed, I am able to recognize when I have "overdone" it thanks to the time awareness and set boundaries accordingly.
Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus. - Alexander Graham Bell
I will advice anyone looking to become more productive to try out this technique from today. I am very positive your life will change, or improve!
Thank you and see you soon.