25-Minute Timer Technique - How It Can Skyrocket Your Productivity

In today’s landscape, productivity is king. And time management is the biggest tool we have when looking to increase our output. After all, using our time better means getting more done in the same time period, right?

At BeforeSunset, we strive to help you finish your workday, well, before sunset! But with over half of the participants in our work-life balance survey working over 40 hours weekly, it’s evident that throwing more hours in the fire seems to be our go-to method for completing all our tasks.

But what if we told you that there was a way to get the same work done in a much shorter time?

The 25-minute Timer Technique

The 25-minute timer method is perfect if you:

  • Get bogged down by minor distractions at work
  • Consistently find yourself exhausted due to working longer hours
  • Work hourly and look for ways to improve your productivity
  • Struggle to plan and organize the tasks you need to do each day
  • Enjoy gamified goals
  • Really like using timers (So do we!)

What is the 25-minute timer method?

Wonders of Time Management

Time management can make all the difference when it comes to boosting productivity.

Recording how much time is spent on each task throughout the day can help increase productivity by revealing which tasks waste the most time. These can be: responding to unnecessary emails, getting distracted too much, attending too many meetings, and a plethora of other distractors keeping you from focusing on what’s important.

Knowing which activities are eating up your time can help you optimize your hours to make the most of your working day.

Some time-tracking tools help with this streamlining process as well; for example, our time-tracker at BeforeSunset analyses how your time is spent each day and looks for patterns of time consumption that can be improved. Then, based on your data, it gives actionable insights to let you know precisely how you can streamline time-consuming activities.

But what’s the best way to use a time tracker?

In Comes The 25-Minute Timer Technique

The 25-minute timer technique, also known as the Pomodoro technique, is one of the most popular time management methods used by professionals and works wonders for millions of hourly workers worldwide to improve work efficiency and productivity.

The main idea is to increase your mental agility and productivity by working in short bursts of time and giving yourself frequent rest periods. By using this method, you can plan, undertake, and review tasks much more effectively and save hundreds of hours of extra work.

The technique is effortless, and you need a timer to implement it into your work routine. It works by dividing your working hours into 25-minute intervals, with short rest periods in between to revitalize your focus.

A typical implementation of the 25-minute timer technique would involve prioritizing your tasks for the day, approximating roughly how long you expect them to take, and according to that, delegating them to 25-minute bursts of work.

Remember that time is a concrete unit with this technique, and every interval can be assigned a number to better visualize how your time will be used.

Why Use the 25-Minute Timer Technique?

Traditionally, we’re always inclined to wing it till we make it, but if you want to get to the finish line fastest, winging it just won’t cut it. Just ask the turtle and the hare! It turns out that the key to success and long-term productivity relies on taking rests and pacing yourself.

Prolonged work tires our minds out and decreases productivity. So, instead of overworking yourself and ruining your productivity and motivation, try pacing yourself and giving yourself regular rest periods. This way, you’ll give your mind a rest just when it needs it while also catching up with the latest news on Instagram.

This is the exact mindset the 25-minute timer method rests on. Our minds are wired for short-term bursts of productivity but quickly lose productivity when overworked. But when these short bursts are coupled with brief rest periods, not only will you be able to maintain productivity in the long term, but also look forward to what you’re going to accomplish in the next 25 minutes!

And if you successfully finish a task before the 25 minutes have passed, you can always use the remaining time to go over your work and try to find improvements. It’s always good to lean back and review your work from a different perspective.

How to use the 25-minute timer technique?

Considering giving the 25-minute timer a shot? Let’s get you started!

To use the 25-minute timer technique:

  1. List your tasks for the day and order them according to their priority
  2. Combine smaller tasks into groups, taking roughly 25 minutes. Likewise, you can distribute longer tasks into a series of consecutive intervals.
  3. Place each task in one or more of the 25-minute segments, with the most important tasks in the first segments
  4. Set your timer to 25 minutes and begin working on your first task
  5. When the 25 minutes is up, lean back and rest for 5-10 minutes
  6. If you get interrupted before completing four 25-minute segments, go back to the second step and try to get to four completed intervals.
  7. You did it! The four intervals are complete, and now you can rest for a more extended period. Take around half an hour off to re-energize your mind.
  8. Don’t forget to review your work! The best part of this technique is to see how much you accomplish in one day by successfully managing time!

This is only one of the ways you can incorporate the 25-minute timer technique into your work plan, but did you know there are tons more ways you can use this technique to fit your particular work environment?

Experiment With Your Intervals!

Depending on the nature of your work, different work and rest durations may be more practical, so feel free to experiment with varying ratios of time. For example, rather than following the 25:5 minute ratio, maybe you’ll find that 20:4 or 5:1 minute ratios work better for you.

What’s more, if you decide to give our time tracker a shot (did we mention it’s completely free?), you can even get data-driven feedback to help you decide on which ratio works best for you.

At BeforeSunset, we particularly like the traditional 25-minutes followed by 5-minute breaks and use this technique regularly. We find that it’s superbly beneficial and even creates fun competitive games for us. In addition, as we talked about in Benefits of Time Tracking in Remote Work, happy employees and a warm work atmosphere can stimulate massive boosts in productivity.

What happens if my 25-minute interval is interrupted?

Interruptions are commonplace when working in dedicated time periods. The dynamism of the workplace rarely leaves room for uninterrupted work. That’s why a lot of people trying this method for the first time complain about how frustrating it can be to try to keep your head down and focus on your work amid the wave of distractions the workplace throws at you.

When first starting out with the 25-minute timer technique, you might find yourself remembering another important task that you forgot to add or the one email you forgot to reply to. When that’s the case, assess whether you can stick it out and finish your interval, and shift your focus to the other tasks later.

If yes, then go ahead and cross the finish line, but if the task you just remembered simply cannot be delayed, then don’t fret. Just cancel your current interval and start it again later. And if the time you spent thus far seems wasted, remember, it’s always good to go over your work another time. You just might spot or think of something you never did before!

Advantages & Disadvantages of the 25-minute timer technique:

What makes it so good:

  • Readily Available: You only need a time tracker to begin.
    -** Focus Retention:** It wires your brain to avoid unnecessary distractions until the interval is complete.
    -** More organized:** Rather than jumping into the unknown, you know exactly what you’ll be targeting in each interval.
  • Motivating: One successful interval will encourage you to strive for many more.
  • Sustainable: Regular breaks mean you won’t exhaust yourself.

Why it might not be for you:

  • Time constraints: If your workday is too unpredictable, it may be hard to dedicate undivided attention to each interval.

That’s a Wrap!

At BeforeSunset, we know how demanding it can be to finish all your tasks in time. And while the 25-minute timer is a solid technique to use, this doesn’t mean that it’ll be the one for every hourly worker. So, if the 25-minute timer is not the one for you, don’t worry. We got you covered!

Head over to our blog to get a much deeper insight on how time tracking can do wonders for you so that you can finish your workday before sunset!