The 1 Technique Guaranteed to Make You More Productive

Elsa Lee

Elsa Lee

King on chess board

The Pomodoro Technique

Struggling to focus? Can’t seem to manage your time effectively? Rushing to meet deadlines while overloaded with work?

For many people, time is an enemy. We never seem to have enough of it. We wonder how successful people appear to have time affluence while we're stuck in a time famine.

Ironically, the secret to conquering your day might be easier than you think.

What is Pomodoro?

Over two million people swear by the Pomodoro Technique. This popular method helps you work with time rather than against it by alternating between focused work sessions and breaks.

Pomodoro is Italian for "tomato." As a student in the 1980s, Francesco Cirillo struggled to keep up with assignments and studies. While fumbling around his kitchen he happened upon a tomato-shaped timer. The rest was history.

The core process of the Pomodoro technique can be understood in six simple steps:

  1. Choose a task. Whether it’s an urgent project that needs to be finished or a chore you've been putting off, choose something to give your full, undivided attention.
  2. Set your Pomodoro timer for 25 minutes. Promise yourself to work uninterrupted for 25 minutes. Let nothing distract you. If an unavoidable distraction occurs, reset your timer.
  3. Work on the task until your timer rings. Immerse yourself fully into your work. If new ideas pop into your head, write them down and save them for later.
  4. When the timer rings, check off one Pomodoro session and make note of your progress. Be sure to congratulate yourself for being focused!
  5. Take a short break. Let yourself rest for at least 5 minutes. Grab a cup of coffee and take a few breaths to refresh.
  6. Take a longer break once you’ve completed 4 Pomodoro sessions. Take a 20-30 minute break to let your brain process new information before you start working again.

Pomodoro technique timer

When structuring your Pomodoros, ask yourself the following questions:

How long does a task normally take?

Start to notice patterns based on the amount of time it takes you to complete tasks. Jot down when you think you're spending too much time on a task. Adjust and improve as needed.

What is distracting me?

The point of a Pomodoro is to be an undistractible force. Eliminate triggers that cause you to lose focus. Cut out anything that interrupts you.

What do I need to get done?

Define clear objectives. Know exactly what you need to accomplish and devise a clear plan to follow. Stick to it.

The Pomodoro Technique can be a valuable weapon in your arsenal when you need to conquer the day or finish items on your to-do list you’ve been avoiding.

By taking control of your time, you set clear boundaries for your brain. Time becomes your friend.