The Pomodoro Technique: A Wonderful Method to Manage Your Time

The Pomodoro Technique: A Wonderful Method to Manage Your Time

Last update: 23 November, 2016

Although there are many methods and techniques that claim to optimize time and increase productivity, few are as easy to use as the Pomodoro Technique. This technique was created by an Italian named Francesco Cirillo in the 1980s, and many people have benefited from using it.

We’ve all started a project with a lot of enthusiasm, only to feel that it is bound to fail before we even finish it. In most cases, this is due to a lack of planning. In other words, we fail to organize the tasks that we have to complete and the amount of time we need to execute them.

The Pomodoro Technique serves to optimize time management, which is why the main tool involved is a clock. Work is broken into periods of time called “pomodoros.” One pomodoro is equal to 25 minutes of uninterrupted work and 5 minutes of rest.

“We can no more afford to spend major time on minor things than we can to spend minor time on major things.”

-Jim Rohn-

The scientific basis of the Pomodoro Technique

The Pomodoro Technique has a scientific basis. Advanced studies confirm that the human brain can only truly concentrate for an average of 25 minutes. From that point on, the brain “disconnects,” which is evidenced by distraction, and performance decreases ostensibly.

hands holding watch

Therefore, a 5 minute break is an attempt to let the brain rest, by switching to a different activity than the one you were just performing. In this way, when you return to the original task, performance will be optimal and consistent. It’s worth clarifying that after 4 continuous pomodoros, the break should be increased to 20 minutes.

It’s important to create a basic plan for the work that you intend to carry out. This plan should involve writing out a list of tasks that you have to complete. Then create a hierarchy where you rank the importance of each task or establish a logical order of execution. This should be applied to both daily activities as well as more long-term activities.

Optimization of time

It’s interesting to note that when you apply this method, you can observe the number of pomodoros involved in each task. This might not seem important, but it is. Over time, you can detect periods of dead time. For example, you’ll notice that a task that took you 5 pomodoros to complete could have actually been completed in 4 pomodoros.

gears operating legs

This means that, not only can you optimize your time while you apply this technique, but you can also gain the skills to continue optimizing your time even more. In fact, the Pomodoro Technique has motivated the creation of software and applications for different platforms and devices.

While the method was originally designed for individual improvement, over time it’s been demonstrated to be equally effective when implemented in groups. Not only does this technique bring about the satisfaction of achievement, it also promotes the utilization of basic technology in its simplest form: paper, a pencil, and a clock.

To apply the Pomodoro Technique, simply follow these steps:

  • Write a list of tasks and choose the next task that you want to complete
  • Set an alarm for 25 minutes (1 pomodoro)
  • Work exhaustively and continuously on your chosen task for 25 minutes
  • When this period of time ends, put an X next to this task on your list
  • Take a break for 5 minutes
  • Continue for another period of 25 minutes, write another X, take another 5 minute break, and continue like this until the task is completed
  • Every time you complete 4 pomodoros, take a 20 minute break

Tricks to improve the Pomodoro Technique

During each pomodoro, it’s fundamental to concentrate as much as possible on the task you’re completing. It’s important to shield yourself from all distractions.

Knowing how many pomodoros it will take to complete each task is very useful, because it allows you to distribute your time more efficiently and have more time to complete other activities.

Over time, and especially when you’re completing similar tasks, you can aim to complete them in less time or improve their qualityso that you can be more efficient and have more free time.

flying with bird and clock

The contents of Exploring Your Mind are for informational and educational purposes only. They don't replace the diagnosis, advice, or treatment of a professional. In the case of any doubt, it's best to consult a trusted specialist.