Work from Home (WFH) has become a thing now since the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
Even companies that had yet to experience a pandemic of this magnitude decided that it would be better to have some employees work from home.
Employees are at their most vulnerable when they get sick from COVID-19, and covering the normal office expenses still needs to take place in any case.
That’s why companies deemed it much more efficient in having WFH employees work in smaller groups.
That’s because there is only one person’s input that needs constant checking for errors than many different people working on the same project/task at the same time.
However, working from home is prone to burnout for many employees.
They tend to feel isolated and have a hard time disconnecting from work. This is where a Pomodoro Technique comes in handy.
What is Pomodoro Technique?
The Pomodoro Technique is a tool many use in order to become more productive in times of WFH burnout. The technique breaks up tasks into short intervals, with a short break after everyone.
Usually, they are either 25/5 or 50/10 interval sets where the 5 or 10 indicates minutes, while the number following it is the number of sets that need to be completed before taking a longer break.
In this case, depending on which you choose, there will be five or ten sets per block before taking a 30-minute long break.
This way, employees do not feel overwhelmed by their constant tasks and can control how much work they complete throughout the day, which allows for a better work-life balance.
How to Use Pomodoro to Handle WFH Burnout?
In order to use the Pomodoro technique, you need a question that you should answer or do as well as when using an app timer.
The question should not be too difficult and requires some focus but also does not require any critical thinking.
You may need to watch a training video about the Pomodoro technique to get started.
For example, you would want to repeat what’s in your mind, so it becomes easier and faster for you to type/write it down depending on which task it is.
Things like how many times you can type without making a mistake or completing a task continuously within a certain time will help you become productive.
After 25 minutes (or whatever interval set you choose), you should take a break. Depending on the task and the focus of attention required, it can be anywhere between 5 to 10 minutes long.
This way, you feel less overwhelmed by your tasks and handle them better without burning out too quickly.
5 Tips to Use Pomodoro Technique to Avoid WFH Burnout
If you feel isolated and have a hard time disconnecting from work, consider using the Pomodoro technique method.
This way, you can minimize your tasks, so you can feel less burnout. Once the burnout is minimized, you can return to work with a clear head.
1. Burnout requires time off
The best thing you can do after becoming burned out is to take some time off, with your employer’s approval, of course.
While it is healthy to keep up with your daily tasks while taking a break, be careful not to push yourself into doing things that might lead to another burnout.
For example, if you still have several projects due in 2-3 hours, you might want to wait to do them until your break is over.
2. Adjust intervals if you can’t focus enough
If the Pomodoro technique does not work after a couple of days, consider adjusting it by reducing intervals.
If, for example, you find yourself not focusing enough and completing tasks in less than 5 minutes after each interval, you might want to consider increasing that interval to 30 minutes.
Again, it depends on which tasks require more attention during the day. You might need to adjust your daily schedules accordingly.
For example, if you have an important meeting coming up in 15 minutes. It is important to focus all your energy and attention on the task at hand while trying not to fall back into overthinking about the next meeting.
3. Have clear distractions
Since burnout takes away employees’ focus from their tasks, it is important to have clear distractions during their break periods.
For example, if you have a list to read to help yourself with your work, you can choose to read some on your break.
When you have a clear intention to do something, ensure that you set aside distractions to give yourself time to finish what you really need to do.
4. Always prioritize personal time off
If you’re having a hard time disconnecting from work after using the Pomodoro technique, make sure that you prioritize your personal time off.
Make sure that your employer allows you to enjoy some of your breaks outside of office hours whenever possible.
Personal time off helps you increase your productivity because you can have a certain time for yourself to get proper rest and do what you like.
Personal time often makes a significant impact on your ability to focus as you have cooled down your stress from work and start fresh for the next task.
5. Set expectations
In order to avoid confusion and frustration among team members, you can set expectations of what type of task they should complete during breaks.
For example, if your teammates have a hard time working on a certain project even after using the Pomodoro technique, then the team leader can set new expectations by urging the said employee to improve their interval time or adjust their time off by setting up some clear distractions that require their full attention.
Most companies have used the Pomodoro technique to improve their employees’ productivity at work.
Since the work from home (WFH) terms seem to linger for a long time, thanks to the pandemic, many employees have reported getting burned out easily.
If you’re among those WFH workers, using the Pomodoro technique can help with your work and overall productivity in daily life.
The thing about this technique is to cut down on the workload and take time off. Since most of you have already felt overwhelmed with the amount of work you receive and without a clear break, you can get burnout within a short period of time.
Use the Pomodoro technique by adjusting your interval break time and consider taking personal time off.
Make sure to review your Pomodoro strategy because every individual may have different break periods and times to complete the task. Good luck!
This is a guest post by Andre Oentoro. He is the founder of Breadnbeyond, an award-winning explainer video company. Andre helps businesses increase conversion rates, close more sales, and get positive ROI from explainer videos (in that order).