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What is Pomodoro Technique in Time Management?

· 6 min read
David Khachatryan
Co-Founder of Workfeed

About The Pomodoro Technique

Do you feel overwhelmed by work, tend to procrastinate, struggle with concentration or have problems meeting demanding deadlines? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you need the Pomodoro Technique!

The Pomodoro Technique is an easy and fun way to get the most out of time management. Turn time into a valuable ally to accomplish tasks while keeping track of your progress.

What is the Pomodoro Technique?

The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. It is a structured method made up of processes, tools, principles and values to learn how to deal with time and turn it from a vicious predator to an ally to boost productivity. It is based on a series of principles built on self-observation and awareness. Developing these skills makes it possible to change the relationship with time and reach our goals with less effort and anxiety.

For many of us, time is an enemy. The anxiety triggered by deadlines leads to ineffective work and procrastination. The Pomodoro Technique transforms time into a valuable ally. Thanks to this technique, we can use time to be more productive.

How Does the Technique Work?

Time is limited. We can't have as much as we want, neither stop it nor slow it down. When our mind realizes that it cannot control time, we get scared and time appears to us as a vicious predator.

Info

The Pomodoro Technique helps our brain recognize and observe those tricky moments and learn how to deal with them efficiently, which is so crucial in order to find functional answers and in the end to reach our goals.

Pomodoro clock

The Method

The Pomodoro Technique is not just the timer! The Pomodoro timer is for sure the most iconic element of the technique. But there is more to it.

  1. The Pomodoro Core Process: Focus on your tasks.
    • Choose a task.
    • Set the Pomodoro Timer to 25 minutes.
    • Work on the task until the Pomodoro rings, then put a check on your sheet of paper.
    • Take a short break (Start with 5 minutes).
    • Every 4 Pomodoros, take a longer break.

Why Pomodoro?

Francesco Cirillo, the creator of the Pomodoro Technique tells the "Pomodoro Story":

"I was a student at the university in 1987 and I had to take the sociology exam in September. I couldn't keep my mind focused on my book. I was constantly getting distracted. I made a humble bet with myself: 'Can you stay focused for two minutes without distraction?' I went to the kitchen, grabbed a timer and came back to my table. The timer was red and shaped like a Pomodoro (tomato in English). I wound it up to two minutes and started reading my book. When the timer rang I had won my bet against Time. Surprised, I began to ask myself why it had worked? I gradually increased the amount of time when I set the timer. I got to one hour, but that was too much. I didn't take too long to realize that, for a number of factors, the ideal unit of work was 25 minutes followed by a 2-5 minute break."

Is This Technique for You?

Has anything like this ever happened to you?

  • You are working on a task and you suddenly need to do other things - updating your Facebook status, working on a task of a different project, loading the dishwasher - instead of focusing on your current goal.
  • Your deadline is approaching and completing your task on time seems impossible: the more time you work on it and the more complex it seems.
  • You're constantly interrupted by other members of the team: your attention span gets smaller and smaller and you make more mistakes.

You are not alone! We all face the same problem. We know we should focus on the task in hand, but it feels impossible with so many distractions and demands on our time.

I've been using the Pomodoro Technique for a week now to increase productivity. I'm now getting done is 6 hours what would take me 8! loving it.

Avatar of Claudine Hellmuth
Claudine Hellmuth
Graphics Editor

It's amazing what you get done with Pomodoro Technique - And in the breaks you can do other things - like housework #homeoffice

Avatar of David Tanzer
David Tanzer
Senior Software Engineer

Benefits

Enhanced Focus and Concentration:

The Pomodoro Technique utilizes fixed time intervals for focused work, usually 25 minutes, followed by short breaks. This structured approach keeps the mind alert and engaged, significantly reducing the inclination to procrastinate and enabling a deeper focus on tasks.

Improved Time Management:

By segmenting work into distinct Pomodoros, the technique encourages a more conscious approach to time allocation. It allows for more precise tracking of how time is spent on various tasks, fostering better planning and efficiency in both daily tasks and longer-term projects.

Reduced Work-Related Stress:

Regular breaks, integral to the Pomodoro Technique, help in preventing mental fatigue and lowering stress levels. This structure ensures that work periods are intense and productive, while breaks offer necessary moments of relaxation, promoting a healthier balance between work and rest.

Enhanced Team Communication and Flexibility

While each team member works on their own Pomodoro schedule, the technique encourages more structured and effective communication. By defining specific intervals for collaboration and individual work, it reduces interruptions and enables team members to plan their interaction times more effectively.

Integration with Workfeed

In Workfeed, tasks can now be assigned estimates in Pomodoros. This innovative feature helps the system to allocate specific time slots in the timeline for the tasks, assisting you in organizing your time efficiently. By integrating the Pomodoro Technique into Workfeed, users can enhance their productivity and manage their projects more effectively.

Pomodoro timeline

Pomodoro technique in Workfeed not only helps in keeping projects organized but also boosts team morale by providing clear goals and regular breaks. It’s about working smarter, not harder.

Get Started

Ready to get started with Pomodoro technique in Workfeed? Dive in today and see how structured timelines, combined with powerful project management tools, can elevate your team’s productivity.

How to Improve with Cycle-Based Project Management

· 3 min read
David Khachatryan
Co-Founder of Workfeed

At Octa Labs, we’ve adopted a cycle-based approach to manage our projects, which helps our teams stay organized and focused. This method breaks our work into six-week periods, each with a clear start and end date, promoting a steady workflow that leads to consistent results. Here’s how you can use Workfeed to manage your projects using cycles, and why this might be a game changer for your team.

What are Cycles?

Cycles are essentially time-boxed periods, usually six weeks long, during which teams focus on completing set projects. At Octa Labs, we categorize projects into:

  • Big Batch Projects: Major initiatives or features that require the full six weeks to complete.
  • Small Batch Projects: Smaller tasks like updates or tweaks that can be completed within one to two weeks.

After each cycle, we have a cooldown period of one or two weeks for the team to regroup, address any lingering issues, or simply recharge before starting the next cycle.

Cycles

Why Use Cycles?

Using cycles can transform how your team tackles projects:

  • Focused Work: By having a clear timeframe, teams can focus intensely on their tasks without feeling the never-ending pressure of ongoing projects.
  • Better Planning: Knowing you have a set number of weeks helps in prioritizing tasks and managing resources more efficiently.
  • Increased Flexibility: The cooldown periods allow teams to explore new ideas or refine existing projects without the rush.
  • Regular Feedback: At the end of each cycle, teams can review what worked, what didn’t, and how to improve for the next round.

How to Use Cycles Effectively

Workfeed is designed to support this cycle-based approach beautifully. Here’s how to set it up:

1. Create a Project for Each Cycle

Start each cycle by creating a new project. This will serve as the central hub for all activities related to that cycle, including your Kanban boards, documents, and communications.

2. Set Up Your Kanban Board

Within each project, set up a Kanban board to manage your tasks. Organize columns to reflect the stages of your workflow, such as "To Do," "In Progress," and "Done." This visual representation helps track progress and identify bottlenecks.

3. Organize Your Docs

Keep all relevant documents within the project. The platform allows you to store and share files, ensuring that everyone has access to the latest information, guidelines, or technical resources needed to complete their tasks.

4. Use Chats for Daily Communication

The chat feature is perfect for daily check-ins, quick updates, or even the more extended discussions needed for problem-solving. Keeping communication within the project ensures that everything related to the cycle is in one place.

5. Review and Reflect

At the end of each cycle, gather the team and review the completed work. Discuss what can be carried over to the next cycle and what should be adjusted. This reflection is crucial for continuous improvement.

Project shapes

Benefits of Cycle-Based Project Management

Cycle-based project management in Workfeed not only helps in keeping projects organized but also boosts team morale by providing clear goals and regular breaks. It’s about working smarter, not harder, and making sure that every cycle brings your team closer to its objectives.

Getting Started

Ready to get started with cycles in Workfeed? Dive in today and see how structured timelines, combined with powerful project management tools, can elevate your team’s productivity.

Best Practices for Remote Team Collaboration

· 6 min read
David Khachatryan
Co-Founder of Workfeed

As work-from-home and remote work options have evolved since the global pandemic, so have the best practices for managing remote teams. Learn why the demand for remote work remains high and how to increase productivity and morale on your team.

Remote employee

In 2022, 58 percent of workers in the United States reported having the option to work remotely at least one day per week [1]. Additionally, 35 percent reported they had the option to work from home five days per week, and 87 percent of workers given the opportunity for remote work said they take their employers up on it [1].

These statistics demonstrate Americans’ willingness to embrace remote work. The high demand for remote work options will make it more necessary for companies to offer them to attract highly qualified candidates. Yet, it’s clear that managing a remote team presents different benefits and challenges, which may be why so many company leaders have been pleading with their staff to return to the office. Managers and other leaders who can successfully adapt to remote work guidelines will have an advantage in retaining talent, boosting productivity and employee morale, and lowering costs.

Why remote work demand remains high

According to a 2021 FlexJobs Survey, the two biggest reasons employees want remote work options are to manage their work-life balance better and improve their mental health [2]. Other reasons participants selected included experiencing less commute-related stress and having more time with their families. Additionally, these reasons are so important to employees that 24 percent of respondents signaled they would take a pay cut between 10 and 20 percent in order to gain remote work options [2].

Why remote work benefits companies

Successfully juggling the demands of managing a remote team can provide a variety of benefits for your company. For example, remote work allows you to recruit top talent and increase your talent pool. Not only will you be a more attractive company for potential employees, but you’ll have access to skilled professionals worldwide. Your company can also save money on overhead with remote work by reducing energy costs or potentially reducing the office space your company manages.

One potential benefit that remains up for debate is whether remote work leads to a more productive staff. Even well before the pandemic, studies suggested that workers might be more productive at home. New research may contradict older work, suggesting workers need to be at the office for the best productivity. Although the results of this research may be muddy, the resulting dynamic between managers and their employees is clear: employees tend to believe remote work is more productive, and leaders often believe in-office work is more productive.

Managing remote teams poses different challenges than managing an in-office team. You can minimize these challenges and maximize your productivity with the tips below.

Tips for better remote team management

Some common challenges of managing remote teams include the loss of direct supervision and collaboration with co-workers, feelings of isolation, breakdowns in communication, and the fatigue associated with sitting in front of a video-conferencing screen all day. Using these tips may improve your remote team management skills and strategies, helping you better manage the challenges.

Clearly define how and when you will communicate.

By establishing a clear understanding of when and how to communicate, you will help avoid disruptions in communication. In an office setting, a lot of communication happens informally, such as when you bump into a person in the break room or happen to walk past their desk and remember to ask them a question. With a remote team, you’ll need to set team-wide expectations to minimize problems. For example, you may ask your employees to spend the last half hour of their day answering emails to ensure they answer any questions before the end of the day, or you could request that everyone is present for a virtual or in-person morning stand-up meeting.

Choose communication channels carefully.

You have many choices regarding communication channels your team will use, such as email, video conferencing, messaging apps, workflow apps, or apps where multiple people can collaborate on documents. All these tools can quickly overwhelm your employees and fill their work hours with inefficient communication. Streamline the methods to talk with your staff to just a few tools with a more significant impact. Doing so will help your team spend less time bogged down in managing their apps and more time working on something more productive.

Regularly check-in with employees. Whether through a daily morning meeting or regular one-on-one, it’s essential to check in regularly with your team to stay on the same page, get ahead of issues, and watch for signs of burnout or other distress.

A daily meeting can also help you manage expectations for communication because your team will have a predictable moment to ask questions and report problems. You can also use daily meetings to gain a sense of authentic connection among your staff. On the other hand, one-on-one meetings are also an excellent way for you to connect with your team. In a more personal setting, you and your team may feel more open to discussing career growth and opportunities for professional development.

Be inclusive and consider others' schedules.

Having employees working in various time zones can be both an advantage and a disadvantage when managing remote teams. From your employee’s point of view, having more control over when and where they complete their work is an advantage of remote work. For you as an employer, remote work allows you the chance to work with a bigger talent pool over multiple time zones. The more you can structure your work and communication inclusively, the more you can take advantage of these benefits.

Trust your team.

When you don’t see your team completing their work, believing it’s getting done can be difficult. It’s important to stay connected with your team and lead them to the best outcomes, but if you check in with your team too often, they might believe you do not trust them to complete their work. Reinforce your confidence in your team by giving them the space to complete their work and trusting them until they give you a reason not to.

Getting Started

Are you managing remote teams? Workfeed is ideal for you. Dive in today and see how structured timelines, combined with powerful project management tools, can elevate your team’s productivity.

The Best Free Project Management Software in 2024

· 3 min read
David Khachatryan
Co-Founder of Workfeed

Everyone has a different way of managing projects. Some people like to use their inbox to keep track of tasks. Others prefer to visualize work on a Kanban board or in a calendar view, while some even prefer the old pen and paper system.

That's fine on an individual level, but when you collaborate on projects as a team, you need a flexible and capable project management tool that works for everyone. And with so many teams still working remotely, there's an even more pressing need for a task management app that can help track projects, collaborate, and keep everyone in the loop.

As a software engineer, I've worked inside tons of different project management setups across my companies—I've seen how each app approaches the standard features, the potential of great, streamlined collaboration, and the consequences of poor project management.

The good news: free project management software can give you the flexibility you need to manage tasks, communicate with stakeholders, and maintain project visibility—without paying a cent. I've been updating this list for several years. This year, I considered more than 65 free project management tools, and after extensive testing, I've settled on my top eight picks.

ToolBest ForStandout FeatureFree Plan
TrelloVisually managing projectsCustomizable Kanban boards with unlimited Power-UpsUnlimited cards and members
AsanaTeamsFlexible project management methodologiesUnlimited projects and tasks for up to 15 users
ClickUpCustomized task views11 different task views and 4 page viewsUnlimited tasks and users
WrikeSpreadsheet-like featuresBest-in-class project trackingUnlimited projects and users
ActiveCollabFreelancers and small agency teamsBuilt-in time tracking, billing, and expensesUnlimited projects and tasks for up to 3 members
AirtableBuilding a customized appThe most customizable app with lots of templatesUnlimited bases at 1,000 records per base and up to 5 users
JiraAgile software development teamsPurpose-built for developers and engineersUnlimited projects on 1 site and up to 10 users
HeightAI featuresUse AI to create subtasks, suggest task improvements, auto-detect duplicate tasks, and moreUnlimited tasks and users
WorkfeedFor Individuals and small teamsBest all-in-one project management software: incudes projects, card boards, chats, docs and moreUnlimited projects, tasks, documents, messages and users

What's the best free project planning software?

Honestly, online project management tools are a dime a dozen. And a lot of them will advertise "free" plans that aren't really free—meaning you can't actually manage all your projects without upgrading. The best free task management software will let you do what you need to do without spending a dime. And, as your needs change, they'll support you with more robust features at higher tiers.

More Than Just Another Collaboration Tool

· 3 min read
David Khachatryan
Co-Founder of Workfeed

Choosing the right collaboration tool is crucial for your team's productivity and efficiency. That's why we developed Workfeed—not just a platform but a complete workspace that integrates all your essential tools in one place, making Workfeed the best Work OS for any team.

What is Workfeed?

Workfeed is a robust project management and collaboration platform that combines essential tools like messaging, document management, task tracking, and powerful integrations. Designed to streamline communication and enhance workflow efficiency, Workfeed is your go-to solution for internal and cross-departmental collaboration, suitable for organizations of all sizes.

We've tailored Workfeed to reflect the natural flow of project collaboration, supporting teams whether they are in the office, working remotely, or in a hybrid setting.

Why Choose Workfeed Over Other Digital Workplace Tools?

While there are many tools on the market, Workfeed stands out by offering a unified platform that reduces the need to switch between different applications. Here's why Workfeed should be your next digital workspace:

Integrated SaaS Platform

Workfeed acts as a hub, integrating seamlessly with tools like Google Workspace, Notion, Jira, and more, allowing you to tailor your workspace to fit any workflow or company size.

ChatGPT

Discord

Dropbox

Figma.logo

Figma

GitHub

Google Calendar

Google Drive

Google Docs

Google Meet

Google Sheets

Jira

Notion

Slack

Zoom

Customizable for Every Team

Whether you're a small startup or a large enterprise, Workfeed's flexible subscription plans and customizable features like task boards, document folders, and chat channels adapt to your specific needs. Add plugins such as Goals, Approvals, and Automation to enhance your experience.

What Unique Problems Does Workfeed Solve?

Unlike other tools that separate chat and task management, Workfeed integrates these functions to keep your workflow in one continuous stream. This integration reduces the cognitive load of switching apps and keeps your team focused and efficient.

From Discussion to Action

With Workfeed, discussions in chat can quickly turn into actionable tasks. For example, a brainstorming session about a marketing strategy can directly lead to tasks assigned to specific team members, all within the same interface.

Features Our Team Loves

We don't just develop Workfeed; we use it every day. Here’s what some of our team members have to say about their favorite features:

  • "The real-time document collaboration allows my team to work together on proposals seamlessly." — Emily, Product Manager

  • "I love how I can quickly convert a chat message into a task. It keeps our project timelines on track!" — John, Operations Lead

  • "Workfeed's customizable dashboards mean I can see exactly what I need when I start my day." — Sara, Marketing Director

Ready to Transform Your Workflow?

If you're looking for a platform that simplifies collaboration while adapting to your team's unique needs, Workfeed is the solution. Check out this video for a quick overview of how Workfeed can enhance your team's productivity or contact us to schedule a personalized demonstration.