It seems to be the case that every time I get truly focused on something, some pop-up or notification knocks me off balance.
There are so many distractions in this world. It can be challenging to go even 5 minutes without your phone vibrating or a friend sticking some video in your face. Part of what makes the internet so exciting is also what makes it so challenging in everyday life.
There is so much stimulus. So much information. It’s impossible to take it all in. So how does one manage all of these unintended distractions and remain productive?
Everyone has their own methods, but the method that has worked best for me is the Pomodoro technique. I use this technique alongside a great iPhone app.
I’m not one that buys into all these “life hacks” but the fact is that this app and this method has helped me immensely. Let’s take a deeper look.
What is the Pomodoro Technique?
To put it simply, the Pomodoro technique is a method in which you work for short bursts with quick breaks in between. In your work time, you are doing nothing but working. You set a timer and you focus for the allotted time.
Essentially, the Pomodoro technique is a time management system. It is incredibly simple but incredibly effective.
The Pomodoro technique was developed by Franesco Cirillo in the late 1980’s. He established the method by using a timer that would break down his work into intervals. He called these intervals pomodoros.
Fun Fact: A pomodoro is an Italian word that translates into the English word tomato, named after the tomato-shaped kitchen timer that Cirillo used as a university student.
The Pomodoro technique can be broken down into 6 steps…
- Decide on the tasks to be done.
- Set the pomodoro timer (usually in increments of 25 minutes).
- Work on the task at hand until the timer rings.
- After the timer rings, put a check mark on a piece of paper.
- After every pomodoro, take a 5-minute break (as long as you have 4 check marks or fewer).
- After you’ve accumulated 4 pomodoros, take a 30-minute break. Then reset back to step 1.
Sounds Pretty Complicated – How To Simplify This
First off, it’s not that complicated.
However, I can see the viewpoint that the last thing you want to do is have to manage a task that is designed to help you manage tasks. There is an easier way that is fun, relaxing, enjoyable and downright productive.
Introducing the Tide app.
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How Does Tide Help With Productivity?
It’s such a simple app that it is difficult to make a full paragraph out explaining it.
Simply put, Tide is just a Pomodoro timer. You set the timer for the desired “focus” time, then you hit the start button. Once the 25 minutes is up, it will ding in your ear and begin counting down your 5-minute break. Once the break is over, it will ding again, and it’s back to work.
Some of the extra benefits are that you can play ambient and peaceful white noise while you’re working. It’s the sound of short waves lightly breaking. Also, you can play music over top of the app.
Personally, I like to use both. While in work mode, I put on some relaxing acoustic music (right this moment it is the new Lumineers album) and play the music over top of the waves.
If I close my eyes I can truly imagine I am sitting on a beach with music playing out of speakers with the sun shining and my family sitting around in beach chairs. It makes for the perfect working environment.
An Extra Little Tip
As I said, I like to use the tide app with my headphones in.
The problem can become that with the ear buds in, it is difficult to ignore the sound notifications that come in from text messages and emails. Most of the time, I simply put the phone on vibrate and try not to let it distract me too much.
Other times; say I need to hit a deadline or am writing an important proposal, I’ll put my phone on do not disturb. It makes a big difference.
Let Me Know What You Think
I use this app every day. I’m not getting paid and there are no affiliate links in this article.genuinelynly feel like the Pomodoro technique can help most people keep from getting distracted, avoid burnout and flat out get work done.
If you use this app or the technique in general, please let me know how you feel.
Stay focused! 🙂