Anyone who has ever spent more than five minutes searching for information about time management methods and productivity, for sure will know the Pomodoro technique. If you usually read our blog you may have read about it here or in many other posts. Anyway, today we are going to explain it in detail.
Why a Tomato?
Yes, you got it right. The core element in this technique is a Tomato or ‘Pomodoro’ in Italian language. Why? Because that was the shape of the kitchen timer that Francesco Cirillo, the creator of the method, used when he was a student. Basically, he would set it to go off every 25 minutes, during which he was 100% focused on his tasks.
Luckily, nowadays you can choose how to measure your time: you can either place a traditional timer on your desk (pomodoro shaped or not), or pick one from the many apps at your disposal.
The method he developed is a very simple and effective way to improve both your study habits and work style. According to this technique, whenever you have to perform a task, do as follows:
- Split your work into 25-minute periods. These work blocks are the so-called ‘pomodoros’.
- Take a five minute break. Between pomodoro and pomodoro, let your brain rest and refresh. The best thing to do? Get up and move around.
- Reward yourself with a longer break. Every four pomodoros, take a break (15 to 30 minutes). If you can afford to, then take a walk outdoors. There’s nothing quite like fresh air to clear your mind.
The keys to making it work
If you want to make the best out of this technique, take into great account the following key points:
- Find out how many pomodoros you need. What you have to do first is to measure how much time you devote to your tasks in order to convert it to pomodoros. So, you will be able to structure your sessions in a more organized and efficient way.
- Take some of those 25 minutes to plan your task and some more to review your performance once you are done with it.
- Totally focused. During these sprints or Pomodoro sessions, you must keep completely focused on the task you are performing. To do so, it is essential to ‘protect your Pomodoro’ from every possible distraction. Forget about your email, phone, useless browsing tabs and even about your co-workers. We’re sure they can wait for 25 minutes.
- Don’t underestimate the power of breaks. Those disconnecting minutes between pomodoros help you keep your mind fresh and agile, which will have a very positive effect on the quality of your work.
Customize your Pomodoro
One of the main advantages of the Pomodoro Technique is that it is so simple that you can modify it to better suit your needs.
Do you want to work in 45-minute blocks and rest for 10? Perfect. Are you among the lucky ones who are able to focus for very long periods of time and prefer to do longer sprints? No problem. You just have to adapt the duration of your working sessions and breaks according to your preferences.
Of course, the Pomodoro Technique is just as any other method and, although it has a great amount of faithful followers, not everybody finds it attractive. We suggest that you test it and tell us whether you find it useful or not. The best about the Pomodoro is that you can cook it to taste.