The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method that is both simple and effective. It has been originally developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. The name “Pomodoro” is italian for “tomato”. Cirillo used a tomato shaped kitchen timer for his first tests.
The method splits your day into periods of focus and small breaks. We all know the feeling of flow, even if you do not know the term by now. Flow is a state in which you feel totally lost in your work. You feel neither bored or anxious. Time flows by and you don’t notice it. You perform a task for it’s own sake — not for the original goal you maybe had in mind. Even if the flow is a great thing, losing the focus on the goal while performing a task can be a serious problem. Over time you will waste a noticeable amount of time for things that does not match your goals while you feel totally productive. Here the Pomodoro Technique steps in. It provides a simple mechanism to lift you up from the deep of the flow, let you raise the periscope to take a look around and lets you decide whether you want to dive down again or move on to another task.
This is how it works: First you have to get a timer. It is not important if it is a kitchen timer or an online or smartphone app. Put it on 25 minutes and start it. Now really focus on what you want to do. As the timer rings, detach yourself from the task and take a 3-5 minute break. During the break, do nothing that will challenge your mind. Stand up, walk around, go get yourself a coffee, check your favorite social community or look outside the window. After the break, put your timer on 25 minutes again and focus on your task. After 4 iterations of focus and break, take a 15-30 minutes break. Repeat the whole sequence until your work is done or you want to stop. As you can imagine, in reality this is not as easy as it seems to be in theory. There are many obstacles that you have to overcome while performing the technique, for instance interruptions, distractions, setting the right priorities and change of priorities. These are the things that make you stand or fall. I will deal with that topics on my next blog posts. Thank you for reading!