I’m having so much fun with this! Getting more done leaves more free time left to surf! – Bev Sanders, Las Olas – Surf Safaris for Women

I recently read an article about productivity and time batching by guest blogger Joshua Leatherman in Michael Hyatt’s e-newsletter. Time batching, if you haven’t heard of it, is a productivity process that allows you to maximize your focus and concentration by reducing distractions. What attracted me to the process is that it claimed to help increase productivity, creativity, and mental sharpness.

Once I read about the Pomodoro Technique, implemented it, and experienced the benefits, I couldn’t wait to share it with my coaching clients and friends. If you feel you could benefit from greater productivity, mental sharpness and creativity, read on!

Most of us allow distractions, both external and self-imposed, to govern our priorities and our actions. (I am talking to myself here too!). Did you know that it takes, on average, 15 minutes to recover and regain focus after being distracted? Are you aware that multi-tasking is a myth? There are numerous studies to support the claim that multi-tasking actually decreases our productivity and creativity. And did you know that our tendency is to focus on menial tasks as a way to procrastinate and avoid the most important things that need to get done? Gasp! Yes, it is true.

So, what exactly is a Pomodoro and what is the Pomodoro Technique? Pomodoro means tomato in Italian. The technique was invented Francesco Cirillo, an Italian innovator in process-improvement techniques. He had a kitchen timer in the shape of a tomato and named the technique after the timer. Cirillo has used the Pomodoro Technique to help many teams and thousands of people around the world make the most of their time. You can read more about him, the process and find free resources here.

The technique has 5 simple steps:
1. Choose a task to be accomplished
2. Set the Pomodoro to 25 minutes (the Pomodoro is the timer. I use the timer on my cell phone)
3. Work on the task until the Pomodoro rings, then put a check on your sheet of paper
4. Take a short break (5 minutes is OK- or, give yourself a reward)
5. Every 4 Pomodoros take a longer break

Simple, right? Simple but not easy. You have to be motivated enough to actually DO it.

Here is a link where you can download a Pomodoro Technique Cheat Sheet.

I have used the technique for a group of easy tasks in a single 25 minute “set,” and I’ve used it for multiple “sets” and have found it to be beneficial. Being focused and diligent about eliminating distractions has helped me to get more done in a lot less time.

Here is what another coaching client had to say about it:

The Pomodoro Technique is a great way to reduce the noise and distractions that get me ‘off track.’ I’ve been using this technique for three weeks and it really works. I set the timer on my cell phone for twenty-five minutes and do not allow anything to take me off task – no phone calls and no emails. My productivity has doubled. By the end of the day I can sincerely feel like I have accomplished what I need to for the day. – Tom Barrett, Green Water Infrastructure

So, if you would like to increase your creativity and productivity, give it a go! And, stop back by and leave a comment about how it is working for you.

To your productivity!