Updated: Sep 13, 2020

Pomodoro Technique Vs. Deep Work

If you use a hammer to cut a piece of wood it'll unlikely be effective. Which tools we use ultimately depend on the task at hand, and most importantly your unique individual goals. The level of skill you have with a specific tool needs factoring in too.

Essentially, the Pomodoro technique or deep work are tools and methods, if used correctly and purposefully, will make sure you get things done. Why would we choose specific tools? Mainly for efficiency and effectiveness because it boils down to time-sensitivity. We all have twenty-four hours every day. What we choose to do with this time is up to us. What will you do with your time and have you been as effective you can be? We all have unlimited potential and how we tap into this is definitely important.

What will you do with your time and have you been as effective you can be?

Ok, so what is 'The Pomodoro Technique' and why did you see an image of tomatoes?

It's a time-management method and prioritising tool helping to keep you on-track with specific tasks. Developed by Francesco Cirillo in the 1980's The Pomodoro Technique advocates working in set intervals based on a tomato kitchen timer, hence 'pomodoro' which tomato in Italian.

There are four main steps:

  1. Set timer for 25 minutes one Pomodoro

  2. Focus 100% on the specific task at hand

  3. Once the timer rings take a short break 5 minutes

  4. Repeat steps 1 through 3 for four Pomodoro's

  5. Once you've completed 4 rounds of 25 minutes (Pomodoro's) take a longer break 15 minutes then restart the process from step 1

Using the Pomodoro Technique is important because doing so:

• Enables you short bursts of intense focus

• Allows you to work on specific short-term goals

• Ensures resting and refreshing to allow processing of knowledge

Conversely, what is 'Deep Work' ?

It's a method of time-sensitive working that emphasises how critical energy and focus is about choosing high-leverage tasks. Coined by Cal Newport Deep work is a way to divide your finite resources to yield the best results. It's said that distraction is the enemy of productivity and so with deep work distraction is purposefully omitted.

Using the Deep Work method is important because doing so:

• Almost eliminates distraction

• Enables focus on high-leverage activities

Ensures effective use of high energy

Deep work suits entrepreneurs and remote-working because it promotes value-creating activities within a chosen environment. The Pomodoro Technique is good for students learning anything new or completing course work.

Did you know? 'a study by the University of Sussex found that constantly trying to multitask damages your brain. Furthermore, trying to multitask can effectively reduce productivity by 40% while increasing your stress levels' - Source

I used to use my iPhone as timer for The Pomodoro Technique for completing coursework although I didn't stick to the timing because I'd hastily procrastinate on social media via the digital 'timer'. I found a fix by getting a mechanical tomato kitchen timer, works a treat! The metallic ringing sound of the bell certainly gives a powerful burst of non-digital music to those procrastinating ears! It serves to break the algorithmic dopamine hits injected by social media induced addiction.

Ok, so how can we use these tools for powerful productivity? If you're a student then it's more likely you'll opt for the Pomodoro Technique. Are you an entrepreneur or remote-worker? Perhaps Deep Work for you. Having said this, life changes and we must adapt so an entrepreneur will need to learn something new or a student will need to create value in some way. Choosing the right tool for your needs is important here; use a hammer for a nail, but do your best to not view everything as a nail! Discernment is key.

What specific solutions will help you to refine your skills in using your chosen tools?

Pomodoro Technique:

• Use a mechanical timer - connect with your physical environment

• Be strict with intervals and rest periods - to the second!

• Turn your phone off - no social media or pinging notifications

• Put headphones on with music, or not

Deep Work:

• Schedule in allocated blocks of time for deep work

• Prepare your immediate environment so it's conducive to calm and focused deep work

• Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated

• Meditate before starting

• Think deeply, openly and creatively with non-attachment to the outcome

• Ask a colleague to keep you accountable

For both tools you can use the If-When-Then method to trigger better habits such as:

If I have a cup of coffee in the morning when I'm waking up then start the timer for the first sip. Or, If I start thinking about mundane admin task when I'm doing deep work then take three deep breaths to reset your thinking back to creative thoughts.

If you're constantly distracted mentally or physically for whatever reason - when life happens, then perhaps book an AirBnB for a day or two and lock yourself away from the world so that all distractions are gone. You'll be amazed how powerful productivity can be.

In addition, it's my duty as a citizen of the World to share awareness of use of language such as 'versus' because two seemingly opposing ideas juxtaposed, as I have done here, doesn't mean that one is better than the other, like humans for humanity we are equal. No one is better than the other. I like to promote the idea of AND because you can hold an opposing view, idea, or opinion AND respect the other person or perspective. It's a choice. The Pomodoro Technique AND Deep Work are both of value depending on your end goal. What is your end goal?

“Professional activity performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that push your cognitive capabilities to their limit. These efforts create new value, improve your skill, and are hard to replicate.” - Cal Newport

Final thoughts and suggestions are to ask a super-challenging question to yourself, then take three deep breaths, choose a tool to practice using and get to building your life's work, now! You'll be surprised at the power of your brain and mind. Do it.

You have a choice of how to spend your limited time on Earth, choose wisely because daily choices and habits influence our mental health more than we may realise.

Bonus suggestion: Practice collaborative deep work because it doesn't all have to be a solo effort.

Please feel free to let us know how you go.

Adam Bowcutt


::: CONFIDE Collective :::

  • Adam Bowcutt

Are you confident?

Yes? That’s awesome! Keep practicing this amazing habit.

No? Ok, we have work to do. Let’s start shall we?

Confidence is critical to your mental health because if you’re not confident, every single day, your mental health could suffer. Ultimately this could be harmful to you. You only have one life.

Did you know that confidence is fluid and can change daily, even hourly?

I used to lack confidence. In public, with a group of people within a conversation. I’d have an opinion I desperately wanted to share with the world. But, I'd never dare to share because of my fear of judgement.

In this context, fear is false.

F.E.A.R is false evidence appearing real.

For years the cumulative effects of not sharing my personal thoughts and opinions built like a pressure cooker inside my chest. Eventually leading to depression and hospitalization. I got sick. Very sick.

Now, I am awesome. I am sharing my knowledge with you so you too can feel great.

Energy doesn’t die. But, as a human being, your body with mind, can.

So, my friend. What will you do with this amazing energy of yours? Your valid opinions and thoughts are all energy that could be released into the world. Or, they could consume you and overflow into anxiety and depression, and in some cases, suicide.

You are enough. You are you and this is enough. Be you. There is no one on planet earth that is like you. You have unique DNA.

You are worthy of respect purely for being you. So, be assertive.

Next time you feel fear arise. Fear of being judged simply by sharing who you are. Remember fear is just false evidence appearing real.

In life you'll be judged, it's guaranteed. Accept it. You cannot escape judgement. Whether you share your thoughts or not you'll l be judged because it's what humans do.

So you might as well go forth!

Practice being confident. Even if your voice shakes. Do it. You must.

What is the worst that can happen? Seriously. Think about it for one moment.

Ok, great. You didn’t die, did you?

Now, go live your life with confidence.


Adam Bowcutt Co-Founder Xnforce

PS. My new book is available now for pre-order here: The Psychology of Confidence

#AdamBowcutt #Xnforce #Confidence #psychology #depressionawareness #assertive #psychologyofconfidencebook

Do you ever think "I'm too busy and don't have enough time"?

You're not alone. Every single day millions of people have this exact thought.

I'm going to show you how to have the time of your life. Are you ready to shift your mindset?

Ok, let's go...

How you spend your time is how you spend your life. This is so important. You can always make more money. But, you cannot make more time. This is a fact because there are only 24 hours in a day. How can some people get so much done within this limited timeframe?

They are super-human, right? The answer is no. Simply, they are in control of their time and energy. A side benefit of successfully managing time is you'll become successful in business and life.

"Past, present and future is an illusion. Time and space is fluid" - Albert Einstein

Firstly, self-awareness is key. Identify where your energy levels are at particular times of day. For example, I'm a morning person. I love early mornings. My energy levels are ideal from 4:30am in the morning. I am most creative and get most of my work done between 4:30am and 11:30am. When are your energy levels at their most effective?

Secondly, time-scheduling and goal-setting are critical. What specifically do you want to get done, when and why? Where focus goes, energy flows. Your unique values and life commitments will decide this. Think long-term and strike a healthy balance between being focussed on your goals and living in the present. Now.

Ok, so you know your ideal energy limits, smart goals and you've scheduled dedicated time in your busy calendar. Now what? The Pomodoro Technique promotes most focus and creativity. You will finish projects faster with less mental fatigue. Plus, it's fun because you get rewarded for your productivity! It's free too.

  1. Set a timer to 25 minutes (Your iPhone or Samsung device works)

  2. Now get to work! Focus 100% on doing your best work without distraction. It's only 25 minutes.

  3. When the timer (Pomodoro) rings reward yourself for your excellent productivity with a short break of 5-10 minutes. Go get a fresh coffee, meditate, go outside for a quick walk etc.

  4. Repeat step 1. Then, after completing 4 sets of 25 minute pomodoro's take a longer break of 20-30 minutes.

With focused attention followed by short breaks your brain will be 'recharged' consistently. You are now using your energy effectively. Taking a longer break will help assimilate your brain with new knowledge.

Have fun practicing and you will have the time of your life.

By Adam Bowcutt Founder of XnForce™ BSc (Hons) Psychology and Sociology specialising in Social Psychology

PS. If you're thinking this is just too hard or "I can't do it" I recommend you read Why is it Important to Adopt a Growth Mindset?

#Time #Valuable #AdamBowcutt #XnForce #PomodoroTechnique #timemanagement #focus #productivity #Einstein #Goals #Attention

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