The Pomodoro Technique: Is it Really Effective?

With finals approaching, to-do lists seem to grow without stopping. Once December hits, it feels like all the things that have to get done are going to be impossible to complete. Something fun that always seems to accompany an endless amount of work is procrastination. The overwhelming pile of things to do is way too scary to start, which means anything else other than the things that actually have to get done seems like a better option. Something that I thought would be great to try out, especially during finals, is the Pomodoro technique. The Pomodoro technique is a time management tool that breaks up work periods into twenty-five-minute intervals with a five-minute break in between. I thought that if this kept me from procrastinating, it would solve all my studying problems, so I decided to test it out. To help me, I used the website pomofocus.io which is essentially a timer that lets you add all of your tasks to it. After using it for a couple of days to help me finish some final papers, these were my thoughts.

Pros

One thing that really made me like this technique was that it made me feel like I was working towards an achievable end goal. I found that knowing I was close to my end goal, which was the end of the twenty-five minutes, made me more productive overall. Looking forward to a five-minute break was a great incentive, as well. I also found it a lot easier to schedule what I had to do. Most of the time when I estimate how long an assignment is going to take me, it usually ends up taking way longer. I start doing small miscellaneous things in between which greatly prolongs the amount of time it takes me to complete my assignment. The Pomodoro technique helped me have a good idea of how long a task would take me which made me feel a lot more productive. I also felt like I was working significantly faster and my focus was better concentrated. The five-minute refreshers rejuvenated my brain which allowed me to feel less worn out when working on my papers.

Cons

Although the Pomodoro technique provided me with fair intervals to do my work, there were definitely times where I either got distracted during my twenty-five-minute grind session or extended my five-minute breaks. Something else which I found pretty frustrating was just as I felt like I had a really great train of thought or was extremely invested in my work, the timer would go off indicating that it was time for my five-minute break. Often, I wouldn’t be able to really capture the thought I had once I returned from my break.

Overall Thoughts

While I definitely felt more productive using the Pomodoro Technique, there were still numerous times I got distracted. Besides interrupting my train of thought, I still really like this technique due to its achievable reward system and, of course, the fact that it did improve my productivity. I think that a good way to avoid getting interrupted during a vital time in my work would be to play around with the time intervals. I think that if I were to extend my work fragments by an extra fifteen minutes and my breaks by six or seven minutes then I would use my time more efficiently and even more productively. Overall, I think this is a great time management method that I will definitely keep using.