Pomodoro Technique – Could 25 Minutes and a Tomato Help Boost Your Productivity?
No matter how old you are or what it is you want to focus on, there’ll always be those moments when it just seems impossible. With distractions galore in the form of the internet, televisions, TV and more, it’s a wonder any of us get any work done! But whether you’re trying to focus on the novel you’re working on or some important paperwork, there is a solution – and it may come in the shape of a tomato. The Pomodoro technique is so-named because its original incarnation relied on a tomato-shaped kitchen timer. Let’s look at the technique in more detail and find out how it could help you boost your productivity at home or at work.
What is the Pomodoro Technique?
In the late 1980s, an Italian man named Francesco Cirillo was facing the same issue we discussed above: constant distraction and an inability to really focus. With this in mind, he set himself the task of somehow forcing himself to focus. His solution ended up using something he had to hand: a 25-minute kitchen timer shaped like a tomato (or ‘pomodoro’ in Italian). Francesco told himself that for the duration of the timer, he would focus on nothing but his work. During that time, he couldn’t answer the phone, talk to anyone, or otherwise be distracted. He was amazed by the results and went on to develop this into a fully-fledged concept: the Pomodoro technique.
How to practice the Pomodoro technique
So why not give this a go yourself and see if it helps? Follow the steps below and you may just be surprised at how much more you get done.
- Set a timer for 25 minutes (this can be anything from your smartphone to the classic kitchen timer).
- Before the alarm at the end of the 25 minutes, focus only on the work in front of you. Ignore the phone, don’t check your email – focus 100% on what you’re doing.
- When the alarm goes off, take a 3-5 minute break to do anything you like.
- Do another 25-minute session of pure focus.
- Once you’ve completed four 25-minute sessions (‘pomodori’), take a break of around 15 minutes.
Breaking your work time up into chunks of four 25-minute blocks is a great way to ensure pure focus and accuracy in your work.
Why does the Pomodoro technique work?
Many people have postulated on what it may be that causes the technique to be so effective for some people. One of the most widely accepted suggestions is the idea that the person can see the end at all times. For example, if they feel overwhelmed by the volume of work, they can see the timer and know that in just a few minutes they can take a small break. This is encouraging in an odd sense, and introduces the concept of a deadline which, to many people, can be a very motivating force.
If you’re having trouble focusing on work that simply needs to be done, why not try the Pomodoro technique? You never know what you might achieve with a tomato in 25 minutes.
Written by Simon Morris
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