The Pomodoro Technique – A Productivity Hack

2 years ago

Productivity. It’s the difference between a slick working week and a nightmarish one that ends in late nights and weekend work.

As a small business owner or freelancer, your time is your most valuable asset. So making the most of it is absolutely imperative.

We tried and tested the Pomodoro Technique to find out whether it can make you more productive.

What is the Pomodoro Technique?

So, before we take you through how well it worked for us, here’s a quick lowdown on what the Pomodoro Technique is and how it works.

  • It was devised by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s and was given its name after the Pomodoro Tomato shaped timer he used
  • You pick a task you need to complete. Know what the task is in advance as you don’t want to be messing around working out what to get done
  • Set a timer for 25 minutes and commit to doing absolutely nothing other than focussing on that task for 25 minutes
  • At the end of the 25 minutes, take a 5 minute break and then repeat
  • At the end of your 4th 25 minute cycle, take a longer break (of 20 or 30 minutes)

The focus is the key here. Be prepared to cut out everything you don’t need to complete the task. It will mean shutting off social media, sticking your phone on silent and giving that single task your entire focus.

How we tried it

We chose a fairly repetitive task – SEO keyword research. We had two separate but similar sized projects and we tried them on consecutive days. For one project, we worked Pomodoro. For the other, we just worked in the usual way we would.

  • With the Pomodoro technique, the task was completed in little over 3 hours
  • Without it, the task ran to more than 5 hours

Yes, it’s a small sample (of one). So our research is by no means scientific. But we think this is one productivity trick you should try for yourself.

Stacey MacNaught
Stacey MacNaught
Stacey is an SEO and content marketing specialist by day. She's the founder of MacNaught Digital and Micro Biz Mag, and has been writing copy for over a decade. She lives in Oldham with her husband and three sons.