The Pomodoro Technique

By Colin Scotland

I want to share with you a straightforward but powerful way to get more done.

Let’s face it, we wake up, we’re like, oh, you know, I’ve got to do this or go do that. Just don’t feel like it. I don’t feel like I’ve got the energy. I don’t feel like it’s the right time. And yet I have a window of an hour where I’ve got to do it. I’ve got to turn on. And it’s challenging to do that.

So this technique is something that has helped me massively to switch on when I need to. The method is called the Pomodoro Technique, and it’s not just the Pomodoro technique. It’s a combination that I’m going to share with you right now.

The Pomodoro Technique Pomodoro is Italian for tomato. And it came from a guy who was studying and had a tomato-shaped timer that he would set when he was motivating himself to do his studies.

The way that Pomodoro works is you take twenty-five minutes to do a task with total focus. We don’t really feel like doing what we’re doing now. We don’t really feel like getting involved in doing this task. And yet what we do is we press the timer for twenty-five minutes, and go. Whether we feel like it or not.

When you start, you go, oh, I don’t feel like doing it, but the act of starting of actually getting you some momentum gives you momentum. That is the magic of the Pomodoro Technique.

So you begin the process of getting into action by getting into action. And there’s no better antidote for procrastination than getting into action.

If you’re feeling lethargic and, oh, you know, I’m tired. I just feel like watching Netflix, and then you go out for a run, you’re invigorated. You feel the rush of endorphins in your body, and it feels great. And then you’re more productive. And then all of a sudden you’re full of life, you’re full of energy, you’re full of vitality.

The same happens with this technique. What happens is you start even though you don’t feel like it, but then pretty soon, within a few minutes, you are really revving up the engine, ready to go. And productivity comes from showing up and doing the time, doing the twenty-five minutes.

One of the things I like to do with the Pomodoro is not just to set a timer… You can get Pomodoro timer apps in the App Store if you wish, although they are not necessary. I currently use an app called BeFocusedPro.

The Pomodoro Technique’s crux is to work for twenty-five minutes and then stop, no matter what, even if you are mid-flow. In fact, it works better if you are mid-flow because what happens is you stop, and you have a state change. You get up, move about, change your position, move your body around, do a little dance if you want to. Do something that changes the state you’ve been working in.

Go to the bathroom, fill up your coffee, whatever. After the five minutes is up, start again, another twenty-five minutes, another Pomodoro, and measure your productivity in Pomodoros completed. I’ve done two Pomodoros of video production and editing today. I’ve done a Pomodoro of writing.

I’ve done a Pomodoro of this. I’ve done a Pomodoro of that. Even if you only do one Pomodoro on something you really want to achieve, you will make progress.

If you’ve never played a musical instrument and practice for twenty-five minutes every day, you make progress. The same is true with this.

The same is true with creating courses, creating content, or establishing yourself as a thought leader and expert in your field. You’ve got to create the assets, the IP (Intellectual Property), and this technique will help you do that. Set a twenty-five-minute timer, no distraction.

Turn off your phone, close down Facebook, all of those distractions and focus entirely on the task at hand for twenty-five minutes. It will work wonders and will make such a difference.

The extra layer that I was talking about earlier is that I don’t just press a timer for twenty-five minutes. I will also put on some sound-isolating headphones to prevent distraction from the environment around me.

And listen, there’s no right or wrong way to do this. You just have to play with things that work for you. And the crazy thing is, what works for you today won’t work for you tomorrow, or it won’t work as well, or it might work better. This is a fluid and ever-changing kind of situation. But you must play with these different techniques.

The way that I love to do it is I put some sound-isolating headphones on. I will play Alpha Wave music. If you Google ‘Alpha wave concentration music’ or ‘study music.’ This lowers your brain waves to a state more conducive to flow, to productivity. It’s partly about breathing and partly about your brain waves’ frequency, and you can affect those through the breath. I’m not talking about breath today, but you can influence that through the breath. You can affect your state with sound as well.

These are the ways that I like to play to get into that state of flow and productivity and just kick procrastination away. Because even if you don’t feel like it, the act of doing will make you do. How cool is that?

The Pomodoro technique. Twenty-five minutes on, five minutes off. Don’t set the bar too high for yourself. Don’t just sit around and do nothing. Do something, do something meaningful.

Do something that’s going to drive you forward. So you’ll make progress to what you want to achieve. As Gary Keller says, what’s the one thing you could do today to render all of the things insignificant in this Pomodoro time?

What would drive you towards success?

That’s the Pomodoro technique, play with it. Track it too, don’t just play with it, and then forget it, play with it each day and track your progress.

Log your progress down in a journal, on your phone, in an accountability group. Mark your progress so that you can monitor and see how you’ve been going with the Pomodoro technique as you play with it.

I guarantee your productivity will increase. But then if you drop it and forget about it, what’s going to happen? You’re going to slip back into procrastination and not being productive. So play with it consistently.

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