The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method used to alternate your time between having a focused work session and taking short breaks.
The Pomodoro Technique was developed in the late 1980s by then university student Francesco Cirillo. Cirillo was struggling to focus on his studies and complete assignments. He told himself that if he could commit to just 10 minutes at a time of focusing, he would be able to take a break afterward. He found a tomato (Pomodoro in Italian) shaped kitchen timer, and the Pomodoro technique was born.
What makes Pomodoro so effective?
The brain typically can focus for 45 minutes max before it starts to lose effectiveness. Whether that be studying for an exam, editing a webpage, or writing a blog post, it’s important you aren’t overworking your brain. Hey – I am using the Pomodoro technique now, and coming from someone who sometimes finds it hard to stay focused, I can say it’s working its magic!
This 25-minute timer technique was invented by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s and was created after a typical cooking alarm of 25 minutes. It works wonders by not burning out your focus time, which some people could be experiencing near that 45-minute maximum mark.
If the 25-minute timeframe is too long or too short for you – there are other work durations and break durations to choose from, which will be covered in an upcoming section.
The 6-step Pomodoro technique and examples
When I am getting ready to begin a new task, personally, I always open up this web browser pager. This is an easy website to use that is already programmed to count the durations for you. If you would like to just use a timer on your phone instead, that is also possible.
Let’s dive into the technique:
Pick the task you would like to work on, and be sure just to choose one task to begin this process with
Set a 25-minute timer and begin your task
Work on your task until the timer goes off
After 25 minutes, take a 5-minute break
After your 5-minute break, continue onto your second Pomodoro 25-minute session
After 4 Pomodoro sessions, take a more extended break of 15-30 minutes
Keep cycling through these steps for the remainder of your time on this task. If you’d like to switch to a new task after the initial cycle, stay focused on that new one until the end.
Keeping a piece of scratch paper or notepad nearby is beneficial to keep in mind during your focus time. While working, having other thoughts come into your mind is okay- and natural. Jot down those ideas and thoughts so you can continue to focus on the task at hand.
Finding your Pomodoro flow
Whether you have already tried the Pomodoro technique or this is your first time, you need to try out different durations of focus time, break times, and long break times.
Some people have difficulty focusing for long periods, so 25 minutes could be a stretch. On the other hand, some people wouldn’t have a problem working longer. Adjust your focus time for whatever works best for you.
The shorter the work duration, the shorter the “short break” should be, and vice versa. If you have long focus times, you deserve a more extended break. After the 4 Pomodoro rounds, give yourself that long break.
Increase your productivity!
Get to some of those tasks that came to your head during focus time, go for a short walk, or get some fresh air – your break time is for however, you’d like to spend it!
We hope these tips can help you be productive, get the most out of your day, and be as productive as possible.
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Toni is a member of the Integrify marketing team and writes for the Integrify blog. Toni lives in Colorado and loves animals of all stripes.