What is the Pomodoro Technique and how does it work?
By now, you have likely at least heard of the Pomodoro Technique. The philosophy was developed in the 1980s by a man named Francesco Cirillo who used a tomato-shaped kitchen timer, (pomodoro means tomato in Italian,) to split his work into manageable chunks.
The technique is simple at its core – set a timer, work until it rings, and then take a break. In return, this technique promises to improve mental focus, agility, creativity, and reduce anxiety – benefits that would appeal to most of us.
However, the Pomodoro technique promotes more than just working in blocks of time, it encourages four basic principles:
- Work with time not against it – instead of dealing with the usual stress of deadlines and cramming, the Pomodoro technique teaches you keep track of your time and therefore how to use it more efficiently.
- Reduce burnouts and mental fatigue – with short scheduled breaks, the Pomodoro technique gives your brain the time it needs to rejuvenate and maintain peak productivity.
- Reduce time-wasting distractions – whether at work or at home, distractions can steal your precious time and attention. The Pomodoro technique stresses the importance of mono-tasking, prioritizing your obligations, and the notion that most distractions can wait until you’re ready to deal with them.
- Create a better work-life balance – when you’re unproductive at work, it’s easy for your guilt to blur the line between work and play – making it difficult to enjoy your time off. However, with the Pomodoro technique you can reduce procrastination, improve your time-management, and create a better work-life balance.
How to use the Pomodoro Technique
Now that you know the philosophy behind the technique, here’s how to use the Pomodoro method while you work.
- Select one task to work on
- Set a timer for 25 minutes
- Work uninterrupted until the timer rings. If distracted by something else, write it down to revisit later
- When the timer rings, put a check on a sheet of paper to indicate the completion of a successful Pomodoro session
- If you have fewer than 4 check marks, take a 3 to 5 minute break and then go back to step one.
- After every 4 Pomodoros, take a 20 to 30 minute break.
Pomodoro Technique + Freedom = Productivity
At Freedom, we love the Pomodoro technique. With its focus on mono-tasking and fight against distractions, we share many of the same core values. This is likely why we also have so many of customers tell us how they use Freedom and the Pomodoro technique in tandem – the power couple of productivity.
Freedom is the perfect Pomodoro companion because it allows one to block distractions for a set amount of time – like 25 minutes. During this time, you will be unencumbered by all of your most pesky digital distractions – allowing you to focus on the single task at hand.
The Pomodoro technique encourages you to write down any distracting thoughts or tasks that come to mind during a session, but realistically we could all use a help staying focused. After all, self-control is a finite resource that quickly runs out if overused.
Freedom can help by stopping the distractions before you they get to you and before your self-control and restraint is brought into question.
The buzzes, pings, emails, and notifications can wait, and with Freedom you can better fight the false sense of urgency they often create.
Freedom also allows one to schedule recurring sessions to help make productivity and better time-management a habit.