The Pomodoro technique was developed by Francecso Cirillio in the late 80s. It’s a time management technique based on a tomato-shaped timer that is used to force the user to work for 20 minutes before taking a break.
The pomodoro technique is an efficient way to increase productivity, especially while working in freelance or on a personal project.
How To Use The Pomodoro Technique
Many studies have shown that stay focus for the entire day on several tasks without taking any break is highly counterproductive. Francesco Cirillo invented a time management method in the 80s by using a tomato-shaped timer (pomodoro in Italian) to get a good balance between work breaks.
The objective is to stay focus on one single task for about 25 minutes. Each working sessions are separated by small breaks, and after a certain number of sessions, the user can take a longer break.
This technique is very beneficial for workers who struggle to focus for a long term on a task, or for those who are easily distracted. It is also a very good way for professional procrastinators to actually get something done. The technique allows you to organize your day and to do all the tasks you have set for yourself. However, it can be hard for some people to work on regular cycles, or to estimate the time needed for a task.
The 5 official steps of the Pomodoro technique
- Choose the task you want to focus on
Define the tasks you want to get done by the end of the day by relying for example on a to-do list. Divide those tasks into sessions of 25 minutes. Don’t forget to keep some time for the breaks. Plan your working day according to this organisation. The objective is to get all the tasks done, not to put any kind of pressure on yourself. Be realistic, and don’t put tasks that you know you won’t be able to complete. Before starting the day, isolate yourself to avoid any king od distraction.
- Set the pomodoro (timer) on 25 minutes
While it is fundamental to use a timer, the shape doesn’t really matter (even though we would advise you to use a tomato-shaped timer just for the fun). Set your timer for 25 minutes and execute your task. When you hear it ring, stop your task. Check it on your to-do list and consider it done.
- Take a small break (5 minutes)
Time for a snack, a coffee, or a walk in the garden! This break allows you to charge your batteries and to avoid any breakdown. You will be even more efficient after that! Careful, this break should not be used for anything work-related, so don’t use it to go check your mails. Try to set up a session for everything administrative instead. Try not to go on social media, as it is easy to spend hours on it.
- After 4 sessions (called pomodori), take a longer break (15-20 minutes)
After all of this work, your body and your spirit need to relax. You can take this time for lunch or go have a chat with a colleague, anything to take a few steps away from your working environment.