Getting things done with the Pomodoro Technique

Procrastination and multitasking are the biggest enemies of getting things done. And even though I exactly know what they do to my work efficiency, I regularly find myself procrastinating and multitasking. And I know I am not the only one….

Yesterday I got introduced to a simple time management technique that is very effective in overcoming procrastination and multitasking. It is called the Pomodor Technique and I’d like to share it with you too since I think it will help us getting things done!

The Pomodoro Technique was developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s when he was a graduate student. He figured that our work and study becomes more productive if we work on a task for 25 minutes and then take a 5 minutes break. He used a kitchen timer that had the shape of a “pomodoro”, the italian word for tomato and that’s how the name “Pomodoro Technique” came into existence.

Here is how it works:

  1. Take a task
  2. Set a timer for 25 minutes
  3. Work on the task without stopping until time is up
  4. Take a five minute break

If you are interrupted during a pomodoro, start again to make sure that you have full 25 minutes in a row that you work on a task.

You can do several pomodori on a day. After your fourth pomodori take a longer break of 15-30 minutes.

You can either use a kitchen timer or a digital timer on your laptop or desktop. I downloaded a free tool from this site: http://reborg.github.com/pomodori/. Once the tool is installed you can click on it whenever you start with a new pomodoro.  An little frame on your computer will show you how many more minutes you have left. After 25 minutes it will remind you to take a 5 minute break.

The most efficient way is to plan in a few pomodori in your agenda. They could be around the same task or around different tasks.

Writing this blogpost including some research and finding and installing the online tool took me two pomodori. I must say I am very satisfied with what I have done so far. For today I have four more to go.

The best way to find out if it works for you too, is to try it out! Take one task and work for it for 25 minutes and see what happens. Curious to hear your experiences!

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8 Responses to Getting things done with the Pomodoro Technique

  1. Zeynep says:

    when i start multitasking i just have ‘unfinished projects’ as a result. Focus is so important!

  2. Anna says:

    Same here. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Maria says:

    Whether you have several projects to juggle with or just like to be flexible: the Pomodoro Technique is excellent! You can keep it simple or modify or expand it according to what you need and when you need it. I’m using it for over a year now – probably because it’s easy to do so :-)

  4. Hello Anna,
    You have inspired me with your article! I’ve planned 6 pomodori for tomorrow, to try it out. Thanks!
    Kemal

    • Anna says:

      Hi Kemal,
      Sounds good! For me the little timer on my desktop helms me to remember to start….and to stop. Good luck with the execution!

  5. Mike says:

    there is pomodoro technique based rpg game – Pomodorium,
    a little too geeky but still fun :)

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