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The Pomodoro Technique: Increase Productivity and Hiring Momentum

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Jessica Newman

January 7, 2021

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The Pomodoro Technique

The new year is a time when many of us set goals for ourselves. This may include professional development goals such as: 

  • Maximizing productivity at work
  • Finding better work/life balance (or better yet, achieving work/life integration)

The State of Recruitment Report indicates remote work is here to stay. With so many recruitment teams working from home and hiring remote employees, self-discipline and time management are more in-demand skills than ever. Productivity hacks are super helpful as we navigate this new world of work.

Here’s the single most effective technique to increase your productivity, so you can hire star performers in less time.

Introducing: The Pomodoro Technique® 

The Pomodoro Technique® is a time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s that’s proven to maximize productivity. The technique uses a simple timer to break down complex work into manageable, dedicated intervals. These 25 minute time commitments are separated by short breaks. 

To adopt the Pomodoro Technique®, follow these steps: 

Step #1: Choose the most important task of the day, perhaps something you’ve been putting off or dreading. Pick something challenging but doable. If it’s a large to-do, break the project into a series of smaller tasks and complete them one by one.

Step #2: Silence your phone and pause other distracting notifications (like Slack messages) that may pop up on your screen. Set a timer for 25 minutes. 

Step #3: Now, give the chosen task your complete attention, concentrating 100% on that activity. Do nothing but work on this task during this time. If you worry about being tempted to check emails or visit social media sites, install a website blocker to temporarily block access. 

Step #4: After 25 minutes of focused work, take a quick break (about 5 minutes). Stand up, grab a coffee or glass of water, stretch, walk around a bit. 

Step #5 Time to get back to your desk and back to work. Take care of any time-sensitive emails or messages that have come in, and when you’re ready, set the timer for 25 minutes again. Repeat the steps you just followed, resuming where you left off. Each 25 minutes + 5 minute break is called a “Pomodoro.”

Step #6: Once you’ve completed four (4) Pomodoros, reward yourself with a longer break (20-30 minutes). Your brain “uses this time to assimilate new information and rest before the next round of Pomodoros,” according to the official site.

Not every workday can be scheduled this way, nor will this process work for absolutely every role. However, the Pomodoro Technique® is followed by two million people for good reason: it works.

Achieving a State of Flow

When used correctly, the Pomodoro Technique® helps unlock the “flow” state, a highly-focused mental state conducive to productivity. That’s because achieving a flow state is best accomplished while concentrating on one major task that requires a significant amount of brain power.

During a state of flow, you’re totally focused and fully immersed in what you’re doing—beyond the point of distraction. Some call it being “in the zone.” Others call it being “on fire.” Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, a professor of psychology, calls flow a "state of effortless concentration.” Whatever you call it, you’re getting a whole lot done. 

When applied to your professional life, a state of flow helps you make the best use of your skills, so you can do better work and be happier in your job. There’s a documented correlation with high performance, and researchers who’ve studied flow believe it’s one of the keys to happiness. 

The popular meditation resource Headspace describes it like this: “When we’re challenging ourselves with a task, our mind reaches full capacity. If the activity at hand happens to be something we enjoy and we’re good at, we achieve a flow mental state—and it can leave us feeling ecstatic, motivated and fulfilled.” 

If we can find a state of flow and contentment at work, it makes it much easier for other areas of our life to improve, too. The goal here is to clean up the mind, eliminate the clutter and distractions so we have more headspace for important to-dos—like hiring top talent.

How Online Hiring Lends Itself Well to These Productivity Techniques

VidCruiter’s CEO, Sean Fahey, believes “winning teams have the least amount of distractions. They have a really tight group of people working towards the same common goal.” And that’s what the Pomodoro Technique® and the flow state are all about.

Online recruitment software, coupled with smart automation and custom workflows, allows hiring teams to filter out distractions so they can be more productive. Video interviews help talent acquisition teams learn more about candidates sooner in the recruitment process, so they can spend more time with high-potential job applicants. These people, in turn, often become high-performing employees.

Pre-recorded video interviews in particular work very well with the Pomodoro Technique® technique. You can watch the videos whenever you choose and pause them at the end of a Pomodoro. But that’s just one example of how online hiring is helping recruiters around the world make better hiring decisions in the most effective way possible.

Download our ebook to learn how your hiring team can save time and headspace.

jessica newman Headshot

Jessica Newman

Jessica is a VidCruiter writer who cares about connecting people with meaningful work. She writes about talent attraction, HR challenges, and hiring best practices.

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