What is the Pomodoro Technique and How to Use it for Optimal Productivity

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If you’ve been in the productivity community at all, you’ve probably heard of the Pomodoro Technique. Whether you’re a busy student looking for a better way to study, a busy parent juggling working at home while taking care of children, or anyone who just has a lot on their plate, this productivity system will help you stay focused and work smarter.

I stumbled across the Pomodoro Technique just recently and it has changed my daily productivity for the better.

what is the Pomodoro technique

What is the Pomodoro Technique

The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method that was developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. The main idea behind the technique is quite simple. Basically, you work for 25 minutes and take a 5-minute break. Repeat that 4 times and then take a longer break, usually between 15-30 minutes. Break for however long you need to feel re-energized, but not too long that you lose motivation completely.

Fun fact:

Francesco Cirillo names the system “Pomodoro” after a tomato-shaped timer he used when tracking his work while studying at college.

Why does the Pomodoro Technique Work?

The Pomodoro method is popular and effective for a few reasons. The main reason it works for a lot of people is that it allows you to break your work down into smaller, more manageable chunks. 

It also encourages you to simply start working. Once that timer starts, there’s a little shotgun inside you that goes off and wants to get as much done in those 25 minutes as you can. 

Often the hardest part when working on a project is just simply getting started. This eliminates that problem completely.

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The 5 Simple Steps to Integrate the Pomodoro Technique

The Pomodoro Technique is probably the simplest productivity method to implement, because all you need is a timer. Seriously, that’s it. No books or special apps. Just a timer, which you can find on literally every smartphone these days anyway.

Here’s the method broken down into 5 easy steps:

  1. Pick a task that you need to accomplish
  2. Set a timer for 25 minutes
  3. Work on that task until the timer goes off. Check off what you completed in that time.
  4. Take a short 5 minute break. Check your phone, stretch, or grab another cup of coffee.
  5. Then repeat. And make sure to take a longer break after every 4 sets.

How to Use the Pomodoro Technique for Optimal Productivity

In order to make the Pomodoro Technique work for you, there are a few tools you need to implement in order for it be most effective.

Break down your work into small chunks

Often when you have a large project in front of you, it can feel overwhelming, which often leads to procrastination to even start it.

But when you follow the Pomodoro method, you know you only have 25 minutes to work on it. So break your project down into smaller actionable steps that can be completed in a 25 minute chunk. Then each time you complete a Pomodoro, you’ll get to check something off your to do list.

Limit possible distractions

Anytime I sit down to work on something, before I start my timer, I set my phone and computer to do-not-disturb mode so that I have a complete 25 minutes of undistracted time to completely focus. 

Using the Pomodoro technique actually really helps with limiting the distractions because I know that I have a 5 minute break coming up and I can do whatever on my phone during those 5 minutes.

Final Thoughts

The Pomodoro Technique is a great addition to anyone’s productivity tool box. Pair it with another simple productivity method and you’ll be unstoppable.

Have you tried the Pomodoro method before? I’d love to hear what your thoughts are on it. 

Let me know in the comments below.

For more information on the Pomodoro Technique, check out Francesco Cirillo’s book: The Pomodoro Technique: The Acclaimed Time-Management System That Has Transformed How We Work

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5 thoughts on “What is the Pomodoro Technique and How to Use it for Optimal Productivity

  1. I had heard the name Pomodoro Technique but didn’t know what it was. I’ll definitely give it a go. Thanks.

  2. Great article!

    I use this technique for certain tasks when I really need to focus, which helps so much. Not sure why I don’t just commit and use it all the time.

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. I’m intrigued, definitely want to give it a try!

  4. Ooh I’ve never heard of this but 8 love a good productivity tip. I’ll definitely be testing this one out. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Yay! It’s definitely one of my favorite productivity hacks because it’s so easy to implement.

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