Maximize Your Productivity by Using the Pomodoro Technique

Time is the biggest constraint for humans. It becomes more crucial with the industrial revolution where everything was being calculated in terms of time and cost taken to produce something. To manage time efficiently and productively, Pomodoro is a technique known to few.

Since the advent of the industrial revolution, productivity has been calculated with reference to the time and cost involved. As the biggest constraint for humans, time is difficult to be managed efficiently. For this, it becomes necessary to use Pomodoro technique.

What is the Pomodoro Technique?

With the growth of industrialisation, employees, as well as the employers, were concerned about time management to be effective and productive at the same time. Gradually, organizations were pushed to the limit where they were looking for ways to do things in less time. To address this concern, thinkers came up with various methods/techniques including GTD, Kaizen, Scrum, etc. Pomodoro technique is one such productivity and time management technique that addressed this persistent issue. Created in the 1980s by Francesco Cirillo, it has proved to be helpful to the people who have practised it.

Benefits of Pomodoro Technique

Time Management – Focusing on time management, Pomodoro technique comes with the ultimate goal of producing quality products through continuous progress. Timer plays a vital role in this process as keeping a record of time is essential. In this technique, time is divided into small slots of 25 minutes, known as Pomodoro sessions each followed by 5 minutes of break.

Handling Interruptions – The idea of Pomodoro session is to encourage people to complete a portion of the given task in the first 25 minutes and then go for a break of 5 minutes. This helps in handling regular interruptions like phone calls, social media notifications, overlapping tasks, and pending deadlines, as all these are obstacles we fail to handle during regular working hours.

Increased Focus – Practicing Pomodoro technique increases focus drastically, which leads to an increase in work output with better quality. With regular practice, one learns to concentrate on one task at a time without thinking about other pending tasks and any other distractions. By working in small time frames of 25 minutes, the practitioner inculcates a habit of better estimation of time needed for completing a particular task. This helps in better management of tasks at hand and the time in which they can be completed.

Strong Will Power – Working in Pomodoro sessions strengthens the will power too. The practitioner knows that he is blocking himself from regular distractions just for 25 minutes, which is a relatively small-time. With regular practice, the practitioner learns to keep those distractions at bay for a longer time and concentrate on real tasks and achieving targets within the given time frame.

Work with Time – One of the most significant benefits of the Pomodoro technique is learning how to work with the time and not against it. With practice, one understands the amount of work he/she can do in one Pomodoro session and makes the work schedule accordingly.

As Pomodoro technique helps in managing time and work, it ultimately brings to less stress and procrastination. This results in better work-life balance, stress-free mind and overall happy environment.

Different stages of Pomodoro technique:

Different stages of Pomodoro technique help in personality development of the practitioner.

Planning – Detailed planning of work at hand is vital for the Pomodoro technique. Thoughtfully planned Pomodoro sessions are a must to accomplish the to-do list. All you have to do is divide the work into small parts so that self-monitoring is possible within the session.

Tracking – Tracking the tasks to be completed during different Pomodoro sessions helps in measuring the progress. To track a task, keep everything that you need for the completion of the task handy. This helps in the reduction of the time wasted in gathering the required materials.

Recording – Recording what all tasks get completed at the end gives a sense of achievement to the practitioner. Keeping a track of tasks done in a Pomodoro session makes the tasks measurable. This also leads to a personal commitment to do one task at a time.

Processing – Processing all the completed tasks is crucial for the result. This asks for our devotion to one task during one session. Without a result, the task cannot be justified.

Visualization – Visualization of the amount of work to be done enables the practitioner to calculate as to how many Pomodoro sessions are required to complete the given task. This, in turn, gives a sense of ownership to the doer. For this, the practitioner must take breaks as they play a vital role in visualization.

Psychological benefits of Pomodoro technique:

Pomodoro technique plays a psychological role in alleviating work-related anxiety. It leads to:

 

  • Increased focus
  • Increased concentration
  • Clear thinking and rationality
  • Decreased the interruptions
  • Increased awareness of decision making
  • Increased motivation
  • Strong determination
  • Ability to do things within a time frame
  • Improved work results
  • Confidence to handle complex situations

Apart from this, the Pomodoro technique discourages multitasking and procrastination.

Following Pomodoro technique enables the practitioner to concentrate on the job in hand as there is a time limit attached to it. Developers, designers, and people who work in creative fields have goal-based targets. Pomodoro technique adds little fun to the boring tasks by giving a break every 25 minutes and after four sessions, a longer break of 20-30 minutes is allowed.

Delivering the desired output within the stipulated time frame is the soul of a business and short breaks that Pomodoro technique allows are good for its overall health. These breaks give the human brain chances to assimilate data in a better way and improve productivity as the practitioner feels less tired.

Though Pomodoro technique has few downsides too, it may prove to be a way out for the people who struggle in their day to day life for managing time. With proper planning, little practice and disciplined approach, this technique can prove a time management tool for achieving the desired results.

How to Bridge the Workplace Generation Gap

Imagine a world with no variety, everything and everyone similar. How unexciting it would be!

A workplace with varied people, of different age groups, different skills is a welcome place to work. A workplace generation gap is a big issue and a huge challenge if we think so.

Generation Gap

A difference in opinions, beliefs, skills, values, and attitudes across generations is known as a generation gap.

Classification of Generations

According to The Centre for Generational Kinetics, Austin, United States, generations are classified based on the year of birth. These are:

  1. Baby Boomers(1946-1964)
  2. Generation X(1965-1976)
  3. Generation Y(1977-1990)
  4. Millennials(1991-1996)
  5. Generation Z or iGen(1996 and after)

Workplace Generation Gap

Nearly five generations having different traits are working together under one roof. They try to work in unison towards the attainment of common organizational goals. This might be challenging for the organization and the workforce.

Challenges faced and Ways to Reduce the Gap

A clash in viewpoints, perceptions, communication styles and problem-solving techniques can pose difficulties at various levels.

Sometimes younger bosses handle older subordinates, some skilled and qualified millennials and Generation Zers work under Gen Xers or Baby Boomers. Both situations give rise to ego clashes. Striking a balance between cross generations becomes a task.

So, in situations like these, it becomes important to address the challenges and come up with relevant solutions, like some mentioned below:

 

  • Open communication catering to varied communication styles

 

The generations before Gen Yers preferred to communicate via post, phones and interact face to face. Whereas, the later generations, born in the era of technology prefer laptops, tablets, etc.

A balance can be maintained by having face to face communication, like round table meetings and video conferencing. It would promote respect and understanding.

 

  • Different traits can also complement each other

 

The experience, dedication, and sincerity towards work are the praiseworthy traits of seasoned employees. Smart and quick work with the help of technology is the strength of the Millennials and Gen Zers.

These styles can complement each other if combined.

 

  • Need and ability based work allocation

 

The older workforce can be assigned with a stable and less dynamic role. They want annual salary hikes and promotions for motivation. Whereas, the Gen Yers and the younger lot thrive on appreciation and job satisfaction. As these youngsters are full of energy, they can be given challenging tasks.

This would provide a balance in the work profile of all.

 

  • Participation of all in conflict resolution

 

Different generations approach problems differently. The challenge comes in how to reach a positive conclusion. If the organization acts proactively and gives all a chance to speak, it can resolve the conflict in a much better and productive way.

 

  • Avoid putting tags based on the date of birth

 

The earlier generations are believed to be non-receptive to technology, but if guided properly, they become ready to learn. The Millennials, Gen Zers are branded as disrespectful and extreme freedom lovers. These youngsters are driven by logic. Thus, they want a proper understanding of their work and are willing to stick to deadlines only after getting clarity.

They give due respect to their seniors only if they find the seniors worth respecting. The generation gap can be bridged only if we look out of the brackets of birth.

 

  • Mentoring and reverse mentoring

 

The workplace is like a family of generations. The seniors mentor by giving expert advice and the millennials, mentors by helping in providing technological knowledge. In this way, both get exposed to fresh and new perspectives.

 

  • Training programmes

 

Comprehensive training programmes aim at betterment. Giving training to the seniors about new technology and modern work procedures boosts up their confidence. It makes them feel aligned with the rest of the organization. The younger generations are taught the institutional knowledge gathered by the experienced hands.

 

  • Develop mutual respect

 

Baby Boomers feel disrespected when they are asked to report to younger bosses. The technically updated younger bosses appear to be a threat to the older generation. On one hand, the seniors have vast experience whereas on the other the Gen Yers and the rest of youngsters are equipped with technical know-how. This can be dealt with when the mutual differences are respected, and they work for common organizational goals. Understanding one another would inculcate mutual respect.

 

  • Create diverse teams and offer common incentives

 

A proper generation mix helps in achieving organisational as well as personal goals. Some common incentives, like centred lunches and happy hours, should be encouraged. It allows gelling with the generations with different mindsets. They come on the same page in an informal setup and try to understand each other in a much better way.

Conclusion

The whole universe comprises of various generations. These generations might be different in many ways but want harmony and happiness. The disparities, if highlighted every now and then, can become larger than life. These differences are not threats but opportunities to build a strong, harmonious workplace with diverse people having unique perspectives. This workplace generation gap can be bridged with wisdom, sensibility, and sensitivity. It could get transformed from being a challenge and a problem to a holistic and enriched experience.