If you want to reach an end goal, you need to break it down into chunks that fit within your busy schedule, however none of that works unless you can hone your focus. As a Founder your to-do list is never ending, knowing what task to complete first is one thing, staying focused to complete it is another – struggling with this? We put the Pomodoro technique, created by Francesco Cirillo when he was a student looking to get more done in less time, to the test …

How does the Pomodoro technique work?

Pomodoro works by setting micro goals for the day and applying yourself to each one for 25 minutes with the use of a timer – either traditional egg timer or an app – your choice. When the timer is up you take a short break, just a few minutes to stretch, get a glass of water and then crack on with your next Pomodoro.

The idea is to get to the point where you’re completing four Pomodoro tasks with minimal breaks in between before taking a larger break.

At Startup Giants we challenged ourselves in the first week of 2019 to function like this and see how far we got. 

Pomodoro your focus …

It’s good because it psychologically conditions you to work with time and not against it whilst honing your focus. Of course the benefits of doing this can be reaped across all aspects of your tasks in life and it’s incredibly satisfying to watch these micro goals get ticked off your list when completed.

If something needs longer then you can simply schedule more Pomodoro’s to it at the start of your day.

“The average person checks email 74 times a day, and switches tasks on their computer 566 times a day.” — Manoush Zomorodi

Crazy isn’t it? Well, for those 25 minutes you HAVE to remain focused on the task at hand, with all of the distractions around us, it’s all too easy to keep checking every notification that comes in or diving onto the mobile phone out of nothing but pure habit.

I work in design agencies and the rule in quite a few of them is that phones are not even allowed on desks let alone checked in the building. It’s good because after a while you become disengaged with your phone and more focused on your work. Checking it, if you are addicted, can become a mini reward for completion of tasks.

It also helps you develop a keen sense of how long tasks take – perfect for future time management and scheduling and insightful for directing staff members’ and working out how much time team’s need to spend to execute tasks.

Overall I was impressed and it’s definitely a method that I’d recommend to others. We can join the other two million people already using it! I know from reading Willpower that it takes three weeks to form a new habit, so I’m going to keep going with it. There’s a timetable to download from the Pomodoro site, check it out, take control of your day, minute by minute and let us know how you get on.

Cherry has worked in branding, copywriting, communications, and PR for over 14 years, and is Chief Wordsmith at Startup Giants and our main point of contact for journalists and editors.

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