A few years ago, one of my friends showed me a way of working that was centered around a timer that was set to 25 minutes which is widely known as the Pomodoro Technique. And in case you’re wondering wtf a tomato has to do with it, Pomodoro means tomato in Italian haha.
I don’t know all the science behind it but I do know that I saw a tremendous increase in my output and ability to focus and get into flow after I tried it.
It’s really simple to do — just pick one task or area of work and go heads down on it for 25 mins. Then, take a 5 min break and either dive back into that task or start a new one. It keeps your brain fresh and your mind focused in a world where distractions reign supreme.
When I’m working on my machine — I use this app called Be Focused Pro
It just sits in your top navigation bar and my favorite thing about is that you can have a mini todo list in there too so you can start intervals in a given subject and it will track over time how many “sessions” or what I call “pomos” you’ve put in per subject.
When I want to start work on a given subject, you just tap in and start. Then, after a week — I can easily look back at how I spent my time and work.
It also helps to feed valuable data into an “energy audit” which is 100% worth doing every few weeks. The idea of an energy audit is simple — you just audit how you spent your time and energy in a given time period and then analyze it to see how you can improve it.
For example — a few weeks ago I found I was spending too much time on design so I decided to delegate more design work and switch to a higher leverage activity like fundraising.
So yeah, the Pomo works really well for me and I wanted to share it as I believe it’s one, simple way to zero in and focus in a distracted world. Another few things I do when I’m about to enter a pomo:
- If the task is part of a much bigger project (like a feature, fundraising deck, etc) that obviously will take more than 1 moro pomo — that’s ok and common for most things. I just break it up into manageable chunks and find that regardless, focused work for 25 min towards the bigger project still does wonders
- Minimize all open windows and mute all notifications (especially slack) except for the task at hand (code editor, email client, slack if I’m doing standups, etc)
- Throw your phone across the room (or more practically, put it somewhere you can’t see/feel/hear it)
- Hide all desktop items so your background is clean
- Put on a specific playlist you know you can focus with (this helps trigger your brain too into getting into the zone) … I created this focus loop for me but also use Spotify’s golden hour and if I’m writing or doing deep deep shit, I throw on the smooth jazz
Ok, that’s all. Let me know if you get a chance to try it and what you think of it. Or if you have better techniques for getting into “flow” in this crazy world, I’d love to hear them too. Until then, onto the next POMO:
Much love ❤️