Simple Productivity Tools

Improving our personal productivity is a key component of being effective at business. During our productivity webinar, I talked about a really simple tool – the Pomodoro Technique.

Now I’m not really sure what it has to do with tomatoes, but the technique is that you work in 25 minute intervals and take a 5 minute break after every session. Every 4 sessions you take a longer break – 15 mins. I have been using the timer app on my iPhone (or iPad) and my productivity has increased exponentially using this technique – I can’t recommend it enough.

My experience is that this has really improved my productivity for a couple of reasons:

  1. The “Ticking Bomb effect” – the countdown keeps you focused.
  2. No distractions – I turn off my email, notifications, phone, Skype, etc for 25 minutes.
  3. If I am distracted and think of something I need to do – I keep a notepad beside me and jot down a note so that I can come back to it later.
  4. If someone or something interrupts me I can say “I’ll get back to you in x minutes” – this maintains my focus on the task at hand rather than chopping and changing
  5. Regular breaks actually increase your concentration levels and productivity – especially standing and moving after being seated. Every 25 mins is ideal for this.

Since the webinar, I have been searching for some tools to assist you in this.

My favourite tool so far is “Focus Booster” – this works on your desktop/laptop (Windows and Mac) and is a simple timer where you can set the session and break times to suit you. You can also modify position, size, sounds, etc. Best of all its FREE – get yours from

If you’re a Mac User you might also try Time Bar (a premium app about $4) – this is useful and less intrusive than Focus Booster, although I prefer the latter. You can find Time Bar at

My very strong advice is to try the Pomodoro Technique and see if it will lift your productivity.

I’ll keep my eyes peeled for a good version that runs on smartphones and tablets and update you.

That’s my productivity tip – what’s yours? What are you doing to lift your productivity? Leave comment and continue the dialogue.

All the best


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