What is the Pomodoro technique and how to use it in time tracking?

Ugis Briedis 15.11.2023
An illustration depicting Pomodoro time tracking

You know that your employees’ time is only as valuable as their productivity levels, which is where Pomodoro time tracking comes in. By having your employees use the automatic break reminder that’s built into the DeskTime time tracking app, they’ll never again forget to take a break at regular intervals to restore their productivity levels.

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What is Pomodoro time tracking?

As you can guess from the name, it means using a time tracking tool to follow the Pomodoro Technique, a time management system created for reducing mental fatigue and burnout. Of course, it’s possible to do it simply by setting a timer alarm on a phone or computer, but incorporating the Pomodoro technique becomes even easier if time tracking is being used, because the tool is already tracking work time and breaks. It’s especially convenient if the tool that’s being used has a built-in break reminder. Following the regular breaks, as lined out in the technique, will put its users on the road to increased productivity.

How Pomodoro time tracking can keep employees productive

Did you know that the top 10% of the most productive people take a break every 52 minutes? Our research has proven this. Moreover, your employees have a limited amount of energy which depletes as the workday goes on. That’s what the Pomodoro time tracking feature is designed to prevent: productivity level depletion.

With three different intervals to select from (52, 60, or 90 minutes), your employees can do one of these effective research-backed activities to boost their brain:

Go exercise

Depending on the interval chosen, you should encourage employees to take a break anywhere from 5 to 17 minutes (our recommendation) or longer to go exercise. The reason is that if they’re sitting at their desk all day, they’re building up stress levels and hurting their health. Exercising at work will make them not only mentally sharper but also less stressed, bringing more energy and higher levels of focus.

Eat food

Do you know if your employees eat before work or if they eat enough during work? You may not know the answer to this question, but letting your employees take a regular break for a snack or meal during work is extremely important. It’s been shown that employees who are hungry and suffer from low blood sugar levels are likely to be more emotional, less attentive, and less productive. Without knowing what your employees are feeling, the best way to help them is to have them start using Pomodoro time tracking.

Take a power nap

A rested employee is a productive employee, the saying goes. While many employees don’t believe in regular power naps, science has shown that they’re all wrong. For this reason, you should encourage them to take a 10-20 minute nap. This technique works best on the 90-minute break reminder interval. Just let your employees know that their work is valuable to you and that you want them performing at their best.

Play a game

It is sometimes frowned upon to play games at work, but it shouldn’t be when an employee is on a break. That’s because playing games at work has amazing benefits for employees’ morale, team building, and cognitive function while reducing their stress. If your company has a game room, have them go there and play with their coworkers. If not, have them play something on their phone or computer when they get their regular break reminder from the Pomodoro time tracking feature in their DeskTime app – it’s what we made it for!

An employee meditating in an office rest area

How to use the Pomodoro time tracking feature in your DeskTime app

The best part of it all is that starting the break reminder in the app and reaping the benefits of regular breaks is as easy as 1-2-3. Here are the steps for turning on the timer:

  • Find the DeskTime icon in the taskbar on Mac, Linux, or Windows
  • Click on the DeskTime icon
  • Find the “reminder to take break” option
  • Choose your interval: a 52, 60, or 90 minute interval
  • Done! If you ever want to turn it off, repeat the steps above and choose “disabled”

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Things to know about using the Pomodoro time tracking feature

The Pomodoro Technique was developed in the late 1980s, and its biggest strength is its simplicity. The core of the method is using different interval work sprints. We all know how difficult it is to regain focus if something keeps interrupting your workflow. Pomodoro time tracking can help with that.

Can I use the Pomodoro technique for studying?

Yes, Pomodoro time tracking works exceptionally well with study assignments. While it’s true that there are many external factors that pull our attention away from our work, over half of all distractions are actually self-inflicted. The Pomodoro time tracking feature is designed to inspire you to work for a certain period of time and focus only on the task at hand. It sends a break reminder every 52, 60, or 90 minutes. Hence, you have time to refocus and take care of distractions like notifications, social media, e-mails, chats, and the occasional cat video, if necessary, without interrupting your workflow.

How effective is the Pomodoro technique?

As with all things – it might not be for everyone, but we can say with certainty that it gives excellent results for most. The Pomodoro break reminder helps you resist self-interruptions and re-train your brain’s ability to focus. Frequent breaks are part of the survival kit for anyone who works with a computer – they can improve your eyesight, reduce back pain, arthritis, stress levels, and even the risk of heart disease.

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