The Pomodoro Technique.
You’re a salesperson, so … what the heck is the Pomodoro Technique, and why do you even want to know what it is? Okay, be a little patient with me, because you know I’m not into wasting your time. Trust me it’s good, and it will help you so much with your time management.
One of the biggest challenges I hear from my listeners every week is “How do I get in front of more people?”
The Pomodoro Theory
is actually a very old technique that many people have used to increase their productivity – in your case, setting more appointments. And people that set goals and activities actively monitor them are 30% more productive than those that don’t.
Francisco Cirillo developed this technique in the late 1800’s to help people work smarter, not harder. I have found it helps you to focus on the task you want to do and complete it in a less stressful way.
Over time, I have definitely adapted this technique, and I’ve changed it to fit my needs. In fact, I even teach people my adopted techniques.
It works really well for me, but what would happen if I went back to the raw, unedited version of the Pomodoro Technique?
So, I did a little sales science experiment, and I’ll share the results with you later in the article. I also call this time or task batching.
The basics of the Pomodoro Technique go like this:
1. pick a task
2. set a timer for 25-minutes
3. work until the timer goes off
4. take a five-minute break and do something not work-related
5. repeat for up to five Pomodoro sessions.
Simple, right? You can buy a cute little Pomodoro Timer, but I have just found my cell phone alarm works just fine. There are also apps to help you plan and track your Pomodoro’s. But please don’t get so caught up in the apps that you don’t get around to doing the work! Keep it simple.
First, pick your task.
As a salesperson, I love to use this test for prospecting. Find your objective and set a goal for what you want to accomplish. For example, mine is to set three appointments a day. Then run through steps 2 through 4.
Step four is very important, take a five-minute break, so don’t skip that!
Stand up, stretch, get another cup of coffee! Just don’t become so distracted that you don’t start your next Pomodoro. And please don’t stretch those breaks longer than 5 minutes.
The benefits to you are:
It splits up your work day into manageable and emotionally pleasing periods.
It helps you break down your to-do list into important tasks and define your goals and objectives.
It cuts down on interruptions and distractions. Put a sign out, “Do not disturb” if you need to. You may even start a trend in your office.
It helps you to plan your day better, without trying to avoid unpleasant or difficult tasks, which relieves stress. You may even find yourself looking forward to enjoying these short, planned bursts of activities and time.
It creates a sense of urgency to complete the tasks we like to put off. Instead of thinking, “I’ll get this done by the end of the day”.
And we all know how that goes! 5:00 rolls around, and you feel like you haven’t accomplished anything, or is that just me?
It helps avoid overwhelm by breaking tasks up into something manageable and measurable.
It helps build up your confidence level as you begin to see quick, measurable results.
I think you will soon count these Pomodoro times as sacred,
meaning you own them and nothing will get in your way of taking this time for yourself.
Try it for a week, and let me know what you think. Push through, even though it may feel awkward at first.
This does go against everything a lot of us have learned, and practice, about staying in one place and pounding away for hours until we are done, and usually burnt out.
If you find you have a day that is busy with meetings and appointments, you may have to fit these 25-minute productivity bursts in throughout the day.
That’s the beauty of this, and why it works so well for prospecting. Because you can plan to fit them in, sit down, set your timer, open your sales CRM or prospecting list, and prospect for 25 minutes.
Eventually, you will have enough data to see how many appointments you average setting during each Pomodoro. And how many Pomodoro’s you need to set to get the amount of appointments you want.
Again, my goal is to set three appointments a day, and I average one appointment for each Pomodoro. So I need to plan 3 Pomodoro sessions during my day to accomplish my goal.
and I hope you will come back after you try this and share your results in the comments below.
The key is, yes, you have to do the work. I know, but you won’t see results if you don’t take a new idea, or technique and try it.
Commit to becoming better and selling more.
Really commit – otherwise it’s just another good idea.
So, I usually do my Pomodoro’s for 1 hour but I have gone back to the 25-minute program for the purpose of this article. To see how I would do with the original, unedited Pomodoro Technique. And I found I enjoyed it more!
I was able to see that my average is one appointment every 25 minutes. I knew it was two appointments every hour but sometimes it’s hard for me to find an uninterrupted hour to prospect. It was certainly easier for me to find 25 minutes!
The second thing I found is that it kept me “fresher”. I found myself smiling more when I spoke. Prospects can “hear” your smile over the phone. I was asking better quality questions, and I was less stressed and generally happier.
Two good results so far.
The third thing I found was, I really had to work at going back and completing enough Pomodoro’s to reach my goal. Because you know what happens once you stop one activity…your attention is drawn five different ways, and it can be hard to get back on task. So be strong and stay focused.
Lastly, I have found I am reaching my goals of setting appointments during the business day, and leaving many days closer to 5:00! now that I didn’t expect, but I’ll take it!