Learn how the Pomodoro Technique will help you become more productive!

Learn how the Pomodoro Technique will help you become more productive!

Are you having trouble managing your time? Learn how this technique will transform your productivity!

Do you find it difficult to be productive and finish your tasks on time? The Pomodoro Technique might be the great solution. Created in the late 1980s by an Italian student, this technique has a very simple premise: increase productivity while taking breaks!

Several factors affect our productivity, especially the excess of stimuli, information, voluntary and involuntary interruptions, social media, lack of planning, mobile phone notifications, etc.

The list is endless and gets in the way of our mental agility. At the end of the day, we feel frustrated and that our mission wasn’t accomplished. 

So, check out how to use the Pomodoro Technique to help you complete your tasks and the best part is, the technique can be applied right now! Let’s get started, shall we?

The meaning of Pomodoro

The Pomodoro Technique is a time management system that helps people work with the time they have and not against it. With this method, you break down your workday and take short breaks to rest.

Pomodoro is the Italian word for tomato. Francesco Cirillo discovered the method by using a kitchen timer shaped like a tomato.

With the Pomodoro Technique, you break down your workday into 25 or 30-minute intervals and take 5-minute breaks. For every four Pomodoro work intervals, you can take a longer break of 15 to 20 minutes. 

The Pomodoro Technique is especially powerful for those who:

  • Have trouble staying focused, even during small tasks;
  • Are easily distracted all the time;
  • End their work day feeling mentally drained;
  • Have many tasks to do and need to finish them quickly.

How the Pomodoro Technique helps overcome the culture of distractions

How often do you touch your cellphone’s screen and get distracted? According to this study, users touch their phones 2,617 times a day. Plus, we spend about 3 hours a day on our phones. 

There’s a constant flow of information, social media notifications and email messages that take up our time. The result is that our productivity is getting increasingly worse.

The problem isn’t only the distraction, but the time and energy it takes to regain your focus on your work or studying. Recovering full concentration takes about 20 minutes, and after giving into the urge of looking at Facebook, another 20 minutes go by.

How can we teach our brain to resist all of these self-interruptions and train it to focus fully on a task? This is where the Pomodoro Technique comes in!

The method in practice

The Pomodoro Technique became known worldwide after the publication of the book, The Pomodoro Technique, by the method’s Italian creator, Francesco Cirillo. It’s known as the system that has changed how we manage our time and the way we work.

Cirillo, as we explained above, used a tomato-shaped kitchen timer. This solution came from his willingness to fight anxiety and focus on his college studies.

By breaking down the time and resting after these periods, he realized that it was easier to fully focus on his task and complete it, while making his mind calmer.

By disseminating this method around the world, other benefits of the Pomodoro Technique were discovered, such as:

  • Anxiety relief;
  • Improved study or work processes;
  • Maintains one’s determination to achieve goals;
  • Increased concentration;
  • Boosts motivation and keeps it constant.

But, how does the Pomodoro Technique work in practice? This is what we’re going to find out now!

Infographic of the Pomodoro Technique

1. Make a list of the tasks to be carried out

Grab a pencil and a sheet of paper. The first step is to make a list of tasks (or task) to be carried out and completed as fast as possible. It can be something small or big, or a task that you’ve been putting off for years.

It doesn’t matter what the task is. The important thing during this step is that it’s something that deserves your full attention. 

Spoiler alert: You will learn the importance of writing down your list on paper later on!

2. Minimize distractions

Close your email tab, close your social media apps, turn off your phone or leave it on mute, use noise cancelling headphones or close the door. 

Learning how to minimize and manage distractions is one of the main skills that the Pomodoro Technique will teach you. It’s not easy at first, but over time, it will become a habit.

3. Start your first Pomodoro session

With your task list done, it’s time to focus fully on it. If the task is big, break it down into smaller tasks, which can be done in a short time.

Get your timer (which can be an app; we’ll talk about this later) and start the first 25 minutes. 

There should be no interruptions during this time. Your attention should be exclusively focused on the task at hand. Remember: you only have 25 minutes!

4. Take advantage of your 5-minute break

Very good, your first session is over!

When the timer rings, move away from your place of work or study for 5 minutes, take a short walk, drink some water or coffee, answer your emails, go to the bathroom, etc. 

Use this short break to clear your mind and get ready for the next Pomodoro session.

5. Repeat the session

After your short break, start the timer for another 25-minute session. If you have finished the previous task, check if off and start the next one. 

If you haven’t finished, write down your progress status (70% completed, for example) and get back to it with full focus!

6. Take a longer break

After a cycle of four Pomodoro sessions (also known as “pomodori”), take a longer break of approximately 20 minutes. 

This break is essential so you can really break and give your brain more energy.

7. Check the task off your list!

There’s no better feeling than accomplishing your tasks. And this is how the Pomodoro Technique helps us. After you finish the task, check it off from your list and celebrate! 

This is the first big step towards accomplishing your goals and leapfrogging towards success.

Apps that can help you

In the era of smartphones and computers, tomato-shaped kitchen timers have been retired and gave way to apps that market time and also organize tasks. 

We’ve selected 4 free options that will help you follow the Pomodoro Technique. Check them out:

1. Focus To-Do

The Focus To-Do app, available for Android, iOS and Windows, combines the Pomodoro timer with a task manager. 

According to its developers, the app is based on science, which will motivate you to stay focused and finish your proposed tasks.

In the app, you add and organize tasks in lists and set how many “pomodori” are needed to complete the task. After you finish, just mark it as completed. 

It’s also possible to set up reminders, deadlines, create subtasks, define priorities and write notes for the tasks. 

2. Be Focused

This is a tip for those searching for a Pomodoro Technique app for daily tasks and professional projects. 

Be Focused is available for iOS, and like the previous app, you have features that go beyond its timer.

Besides creating and managing tasks, the app also has a report on your progress and it’s fully customizable.

3. Tomato Timer

The Tomato Timer website is a basic version of the timer with a single and simple goal: mark Pomodoro session times and pauses. 

This is the ideal format for those who wish to focus on a single task, especially one done on a computer.

When you click Start, the timer starts a 25-minute countdown, and after this period, the timer beeps and resets to zero. In the short break mode, the timer counts down a 5-minute break and long break counts down a longer 10-minute break.

If you wish to customize the time, timer volume and even its sound, just go to Settings.

4. Pomello

Pomello is an exclusive desktop app (Windows, Mac and Linux), and is ideal for those who wish to use the Pomodoro Technique at work in a more powerful manner.

It has a small peculiarity: it works exclusively synchronized with Trello. But this isn’t a major problem since Trello is a widely used and efficient task management tool.

Learn about more tools to help your productivity!

The Pomodoro Technique is a simple, practical and functional method. Many people who adopt it in their work or study routine feel that they are doing their tasks while still being able to rest.

Of course, each person adapts in their own way and therefore, finding the time that works for you is key. 

In addition, this method is completely free. You can use the apps above or try the old-fashioned way, with a tomato-shaped timer.

But if you feel that the Pomodoro Technique won’t be enough to increase your productivity, don’t panic! Check out our article with time management tips to make your work routine productive.

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