Have you ever sat down with the intention of accomplishing your most important task, but then hours go by and you still haven’t made any progress?
Developer, entrepreneur, and author Francesco Cirillo faced this exact problem while studying at university. And thankfully, for us, he figured out a solution.
His solution? A tomato. More precisely: a tomato-shaped kitchen timer.
In his book “The Pomodoro Technique,” Cirillo explains that whenever he was faced with a large task, he would use his tomato timer to break it down into smaller, manageable time interval tasks (25 minutes) separated by short breaks (5 minutes).
These 25-minute intervals are called “pomodoro,” which is named after the Italian word for tomato, hence the name “The Pomodoro Technique.”
Instead of procrastinating his work, Cirillo found that this method actually helped him maximize his focus and maintain freshness throughout the day, thereby allowing him to complete projects faster with less mental fatigue.
Since the creation of this method, “The Pomodoro Technique” has helped many chronic procrastinators to both accomplish and actually enjoy their work.
And it can help you too.
Here’s how to use the Pomodoro Technique in 4 simple steps:
1) Choose a task you want to accomplish. (e.g. writing a chapter for your new book, reading 30 pages, working on a presentation.)
2) Then, set a timer for 25 minutes and spend that time focusing on the task you chose to accomplish.
3) Once the timer rings, stop working and take a 5-minute break to relax, drink a glass of water, or move around a little. After your break, you’ll be refreshed and ready for your next pomodoro.
4) After you’ve finished four “pomodoros,” take a longer break of 15-30 minutes.
Repeat this process a few times over the course of a workday and you’ll be shocked at how much you actually get done.
This method works because when you break down all of your large overwhelming tasks into smaller manageable tasks, it makes it nearly impossible not to maintain focus during that time. In addition, the regular use of 5 minute breaks keeps you from getting worn out.
For these reasons, The Pomodoro Technique is probably one of the most simple, easy to execute and beneficial time management methods you can use to help you power through distractions, hyper-focus, and get more done in less time.