Finishing your work on time is not an easy feat. If you tend to procrastinate, then it just makes things even harder. For the millennial drowning in endless to-do lists and self-help books for time management, the Pomodoro technique is a godsend.

The Pomodoro Technique is a time management tool that lets you work in intense bursts of energy throughout the day, while also letting you take ample breaks, so you don’t feel burnt out or overwhelmed. This productivity technique is portable and can be done in any environment, making it easy for anyone to try. This is why it has been adopted by millions of people across the world.

In this post, we will figure out how you can apply the Pomodoro Technique to your life and work. Keep reading to learn what it is, why it works, and how you can use to be more productive.

What Is The Pomodoro Technique?

The Pomodoro technique was invented in the 1990s by Francesco Cirillo. Cirillo created this technique as a university student in order to get more done in less time. Named after the timer he used while focusing on his work, the Pomodoro Technique is super simple and easy for anyone to follow.

Here’s how it works. When you have a lot of work to do, use the Pomodoro Technique to break it down into smaller sections of work intervals that are 25-30 minutes long. In between each of these intervals, take a short 2-3 minute break and clear your head. This helps your brain keep intense focus during these shorter periods, while also allowing it to be rewarded with breaks.

By taking these breaks, you help your brain increase focus, prevent decision fatigue, restore motivation, and increase creativity. You’re basically granting your brain the opportunity to take a cat nap, and in return, it’ll come back better than ever.

How Does The Pomodoro Technique Work?

At its core, this time management technique is all about working with the time you have rather than fighting against it. After you decide your work hours, you simply break them down into a 25-minute intervals, keeping a 5-minute break in between. These small break times are known as Pomodoros. When you have passed 4 Pomodoros, you earn a longer break of 15 to 20 minutes.

By using a timer to map out these breaks, you’re able to stay focused on the task at hand. The timer also enforces a sort of faux “urgency” that can help increase output. By giving yourself a set timeframe to complete the task, you’re implementing a sort of willpower that will also help productivity. Additionally, by giving yourself breaks, you reward yourself for cranking out the work and set up the idea that hard work is rewarded with time off, however small.

To show just how much this technique works, entrepreneur, writer, and coach, Chris Winfield, published a case study applauding the benefits. According to his study, this technique helped him complete 40 hours of work in only 16.7 hours. Now that’s impressive.

How To Use The Pomodoro Technique

You need an app, or a timer, to make the Pomodoro technique work. You don’t need any special, books, or tools to get this done. You can even simply use the timer on your phone.

Pomodoro Technique Steps

  • Decide on the task of the day. You can pick a task that needs to be finished within the day, or a task that you need to make a certain amount of progress on, i.e. 20% completion.
  • Set your timer/Pomodoro to 25 minutes.
  • Keep working until the timer alerts you.
  • Enjoy your 5-minute break.
  • After you complete 4 intervals, take a 15 to 20-minute break.

The purpose of the long break is to make you feel genuinely revitalized. When you are working with concentrated focus for over 2 hours, you need to take a substantial break to disconnect and catch your breath. Have a cup of coffee, grab your favorite book, take a walk, or snack on some food. Do whatever that makes you feel refreshed during this time.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you don’t have to be so rigid with the Pomodoro technique. If you are working in an office setting and a coworker comes up and distracts you with chit chat for 15 minutes, you can simply pause Pomodoro until you can start working again.

However, since we are aiming to be productive, Cirillo himself suggests doing any of the three things when communicating with coworkers below to ensure peak productivity:

  • Inform – Inform your colleague or whoever that you are busy right now.
  • Negotiate – Inform the distracting party that you will shortly catch up to them when you have some free time.
  • Schedule – Decide when you will catch up with them. Do it when it lines up with your break.

We understand that a workplace or even working from home, as we’re doing now, can get complicated. But try to really differentiate between the things that can wait and the things that cannot. Keeping the focus on essential items helps you stay productive and avoid unnecessary interruption during the workday.

Tools To Implement The Pomodoro Technique

To implement the Pomodoro technique, it can be helpful to have a suite of tools available to you. This is because you’ll need a way to either communicate to other people that you’re busy or track time spent, and you’ll likely need tools to get the actual work done during the sessions. Here are a few tools that are useful for Pomodoro:

Hive

Hive is a robust project management tool with flexible project views. Hive also has a chat feature, within which you can set a status. If you want to set an emoji status of a tomato, your colleagues can now know that you’re in Pomodoro mode and shouldn’t be bothered. Hive also has a “Focus Mode” setting, where all notifications will be muted — ideal for Pomodoros.

Focus Booster 

Focus Booster is a great app if you need a tool to track time spent. This app lets you time sessions, adjust the length of focus and work sessions, and your data syncs across all web and mobile apps, so you can use it on-the-go.

Rescue Time

Rescue Time is a more robust time-tracking app that lets you automatically track time, block distractions, and generate reports on time spent. Over 2 million people use this app — that’s how you know it’s good!

Pomodoro Tracker

The Pomodoro Tracker app is a simple, straightforward Pomodoro tracker, as the name suggests. You can input to-dos and track your 25 minute Pomodoros with the click of a button.

Conclusion

Try and remember that the Pomodoro technique is only built to make you more productive — it is not there to make you feel burdened with work and technicalities.

Every time that buzzer rings, you are setting a new milestone and making come concrete progress in your work. But not every method works for every person, so don’t feel pressured to continue working with Pomodoro if you find it difficult, distracting, or a waste of time.

Have you tried the Pomodoro technique before? Let us know in the comments below.