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Improve Home Working Productivity Levels With the Pomodoro Technique

Friday 20 March 2020

10 minute read

By Sarah Burns

As we all get used to a slightly different, isolated, way of living, we’re all looking for guidance and support.

If you’re an office worker, you may be asked to work from home in the coming weeks as the UK government steps up its guidance. But for some that isn’t as easy as it sounds - the home offers so many distractions, whether it’s the fridge, the TV, your partner, the kids… the list goes on, not forgetting that adorable-but-distracting furry friend!

So, if you’re just preparing for home working, already trying to concentrate at home, or have gotten a little ‘too accustomed’ to homeworking (I’m talking about you guys with your PJs on, snacks by your side and dry, itchy eyes!) - this post should offer a potential way to improve your home working routine. 

As COVID-19 spreads across the globe and governments follow suit with stricter advice for our own health and safety - and that of our more vulnerable loved ones - it’s important that we all try our best to ‘keep calm and carry on’, particularly where we can, so desk workers everywhere, this is your call to arms!

What is the Pomodoro technique? 

A time management technique that advises breaking up tasks into 25 minute chunks to ensure you work at a highly effective rate.

It’s particularly useful in the current climate, as it allows for a 5-minute break after every 25-minute chunk of work - and if we’re all cooped up at home, we should take those five-minutes for a brief step outside for fresh air, to make a drink, toilet break… there’s so much you can do to refresh your mindset and eyes in just five minutes!

How to put the Pomodoro technique into action

  1. Create a list of ‘must-do’ tasks and work out roughly how long they’d take - factor in the fact you’re having to work at home, and some things may be slower to do, particularly if you’re relying on communication from teammates. 
  2. Start by using a timer to help you get into the rhythm of working in small, consistent chunks. And focus on the most important tasks in your first few 25-minute sessions. 
  3. Make the most of your breaks - and don’t distract yourself during your 25 minute work chunks with emails, wandering around, letting your mind drift - make each chunk of time count. 

Go easy on yourself!

It’s easy when working from home to allow home distractions interfere with your work, so try setting up a few 10 minute ‘home tasks’ throughout the day, so if you need to fill the washing machine, run the hoover round, or see to the cat, you can still do those things. 

Your employer will surely appreciate you working like this than allowing mundane, day-to-day distractions meaning you only work at a 70% optimum rate!

We’re in unknown times and it’s important that you give yourself a break when you really need it, but don’t allow the mundane to cloud and distract too much. Make a to-do list each morning if it works for you and keep as much of a routine as possible - which means don’t be working in your PJs every day! ...Why not treat yourself on a Friday to PJs day?

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