Find somewhere relatively quiet to work and with little distractions. This type of environment will help you get into the zone and perform some deep work.
Set a timer for how long you will work. An often missed benefit of the Pomodoro Technique is that it helps you DEVELOP focus. So start small and then increase the amount of time you work for. Traditionally, a Pomodoro is a 25-minute block of focused work. If your focus is really bad you may want to start with 15 or 10 minute blocks. You may remember from my video about deep work that a Swedish Psychologist by the name of Anders Ericsson revealed that someone new to deep work could probably do it for an hour a day while a veteran could do it for about 4 hours a day.
Decide how many total hours of DEEP WORK you are going to do in a day. Lets say you pick 100 minutes of deep work a day (so almost 2 hours) and your Pomodoro’s are the standard 25 minute block. That means you are going to do 4 Pomodoro’s in a day. Once you work your way up to 4 hours of deep work a day, then you would do around 10 pomodoros a day.
Plan your breaks. So lets take a look at the traditional Pomodoro scheme. It goes a 25 minute block of work, followed by 5 minute breaks, and every fourth 25 minute block of work is followed by a 30 minute break. That means for every 100 minutes of work there is about 45 minutes of break. So I recommend just continuing with this ratio. For example, lets say you work your way up to doing 4 hours of deep work a day but you want to do it in just 4 Pomodoro'ss. So an hour each, because your focus is really good. So if you take 45% of 60 minutes, that means you should take a 27 minute break after each Pomodoro.
But lets look at a second example and more complex example. Lets say you are doing 2 hours of deep work a day but with 20 minute pomodoros. That means you will end up doing 6 pomodoros. So 45% of 20 minutes is 9 minutes. So after every pomodoro you could take 9 minute breaks. But maybe you want to go for a walk in the middle of studying and 9 minutes doesn’t really give you the time. You can rearrange the breaks like this. So after three 20 minute pomodoros you would have done 60 minutes of work. 45% of 60 minutes is, again, a 27 minute break. So you could distribute that such that you have a 3 minute break after your first pomodoro to grab snacks and water, a 4 minute break to stretch after your second pomodoro, and then a 20 minute break after your third pomodoro to go on a walk.
A lot of people don’t realize that the pomodoro technique is actually quite customizable.
I hope this guide wasn’t to confusing.
Again the steps are:
Step 1: Find a quiet place to work that can promote deep work
Step 2: Decide how long your pomodoros will be
Step 3: Decide how many hours of deep work you’re going to do and how many pomodoros (try not to go over 4 hours of deep work a day)
and Step 4: Plan Your Breaks using the 45% rule.
I know, personally, the pomodoro technique has been a huge benefit to me. I’d like to know, if you used it, what was your experience? Let me know in the comments.