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The Pomodoro technique

A tomato on a desk

The Pomodoro Technique was developed by Francesco Cirillo in the 1980s. Cirillo, an Italian entrepreneur and productivity expert, came up with the idea as a way to help himself stay focused and avoid burnout while studying. The technique is named after the tomato-shaped kitchen timer that Cirillo used to time his work intervals (pomodoro is Italian for tomato).

Since its creation, the Pomodoro Technique has been used by millions of people around the world to improve their focus and productivity because of its simplicity and effectiveness. The technique involves breaking down work into short, focused intervals (called "Pomodoros") separated by short breaks. The idea is that by working in this way, people can avoid burnout and maintain a high level of concentration for longer periods of time.

Whether or not the Pomodoro Technique works depends on the individual. Some people may find that it helps them to be more productive and focused, while others may not see the same benefits. The key is to experiment with the technique and see how it works for you. It may also be helpful to combine the Pomodoro Technique with other time management strategies to find a system that works best for your needs.

  1. Choose a task that you want to work on, and set a timer for 25 minutes. This is one "Pomodoro."

  2. Work on the task for the full 25 minutes, without any distractions. This means turning off your phone, closing unnecessary tabs on your computer, and eliminating any other potential sources of distraction.

  3. After 25 minutes, take a short break of 5 minutes. During this time, you can do something relaxing, such as getting a drink of water, stretching, or taking a short walk.

  4. After your break, repeat steps 1-3 for three more Pomodoros.

  5. After completing four Pomodoros, take a longer break of 15-20 minutes. This is a good time to do something more substantial, such as getting some exercise or having a snack.

  6. Repeat the process for as long as you need to work on the task. The Pomodoro Technique is a flexible method, so you can adjust the length of the Pomodoros and breaks as needed to suit your individual needs and preferences.

There are many apps that use the Pomodoro Technique to help people improve their focus and productivity. Some popular examples include Focus To-Do, Pomodoro Timer, and Forest. These apps typically provide a timer function that allows users to set Pomodoro intervals and breaks, as well as other features such as task tracking and goal setting. Most Pomodoro apps also include customizable settings, so users can adjust the length of the Pomodoros and breaks to suit their individual needs and preferences, or check out his book The Pomodoro Technique: The Acclaimed Time-Management System That Has Transformed How We Work (Currency, 2018).


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