Pomodoro Technique and The Results Curve

Increasing your workflow with The Pomodoro Technique and The Results Curve

I’ve planned out my work session and set my timer. Now I have to get to work – the timer is ticking away, so there isn’t a moment to lose! Since I’ve given myself a limited time frame in which to accomplish as much as possible, I want to be as productive during that time as I can. Probably more than any other aspect of The Pomodoro Technique and The Results Curve, methods for maximizing productivity will vary from person to person. However, the creators of these techniques offer a few suggestions for increasing productivity within your work time.

Pomodoro Technique and The Results Curve

Francisco Cirillo, the creator of the Pomodoro Technique, offers a suggestion for structuring each work session to keep you on track. He recommends using the first 3 to 5 minutes of the session to review what you’ve accomplished on the current task so far. This keeps the task fresh in my memory and cements what I’ve already learned. Reviewing what I’ve already done can also help me clarify what steps should be taken next.

Using this structure, I would work on the next steps in my task for 15 to 20 minutes after reviewing my previous accomplishments. Then I use the final 3 to 5 minutes of my work session to review what I’ve accomplished during this work session. Cirillo recommends starting the review at the end of the work session and working back to the beginning. He calls this an “effect-cause procedure”; I determine what I accomplished at the end of the session, then work towards the beginning to determine whether that’s what I actually intended to accomplish. This helps me to evaluate whether my work flow is helping or hindering my productivity, and I can tweak it to accomplish more next time.

In “The Accomplishment Zone” of the Results Curve, Pierre Khawand states that accomplishments occur when we are focused on a task. The resulting suggestion is simple: I must stay focused on a task long enough to get into the “zone” where my productivity increases. Khawand suggests that it takes around 30 minutes to reach this zone, but it’s been my experience that I get there much faster when I’m working on a task that I truly enjoy and find interesting. It might take the entire 30 minutes, or even longer, if it’s a task I don’t particularly care for.

At first glance, it appears that the work structures from the Pomodoro Technique and the Results Curve contradict each other. The Pomodoro Technique asks us to set aside a few minutes at the beginning and end of each session, while the Results Curve encourages us to focus on one task for as long as possible. However, it’s my opinion that these strategies actually complement one another. Reviewing previous work at the beginning of a session can plunge my brain into the middle of my task and help me get to that focused, productive zone more quickly. Once I’ve reached that zone, I don’t snap out of it when I perform the review at the end of the session; instead, my high level of concentration helps me to evaluate my work flow and quickly form ideas for how to make the next work session even more productive.

With these time management methods, you can effectively complete tasks at the intended time and be more productive. As you are refining your workflow using task lists, you can also clean up your Outlook, Mac, Gmail or Google Apps address books by removing duplicate contacts using the Scrubly duplicate contact remover tool. You can scan your contacts free by visiting http://www.scrubly.com.

by utilizing the Pomodoro Technique and The Results Curve, you will soon be on top of managing even the most daunting projects!

Pomodoro Technique and The Results Curve Pomodoro Technique and The Results Curve Pomodoro Technique and The Results Curve Pomodoro Technique and The Results Curve

  • http://www.instantdane.tv Dane Findley

    The Pomodoro Technique has also had an impact on how I “manage” staff.

    Now I know, completely and utterly, that frequent mini-breaks increase productivity, so I encourage myself and colleagues to stand up and stretch every 30 minutes and get some water or something.

  • dental hygienist

    Great site. A lot of useful information here. I’m sending it to some friends!

  • Joseph Nodarse

    Continually very helpful… it doesn’t matter how often times look at this!

  • http://ruforestcom.no-ip.org/ BernieR

    Todo dinбmica y muy positiva! :)


  • Jared

    I would have to disagree, I believe that both techniques cannot be used simultaneously. Rather, each have their own applications. Pomodoro is based on an efficiency perspective whereas the results curve is more on the effectiveness perspective, hence each serve its own purpose. So for an efficiency related task that is not based on thinking, like doing spreadsheets or bricklaying, Pomodoro is more suitable as a method of being more efficient. On the other hand for other tasks that are based on thinking and creativity like project management, writing an article or group work, so that the critical thinking/results zone can be reached. Reflection is another tool in itself and is not exactly part of Pomodoro.

    • http://www.scrubly.com Bob

      That is an excellent point you have made. My focus has been using both techniques for the same tasks without any consideration really to the difference in the mental aspects of the projects. I can easily see where one is more effective over the other when applied to grind work (spreadsheets, etc) versus creative work.

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