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Using The Pomodoro Technique

Updated on August 2, 2012
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Time is our most valuable resource, and there never seems to be enough of it. Combined with the seemingly never ending distractions, sometimes I'm amazed at how much I DON"T get done in a day.


About a year ago, I stumbled across this technique to focus my time while allowing me to give myself breaks. Hope you find it to be useful.

What is a Pomodoro?

In the 1980's, Francesco Cirillo developed the Pomodoro method to increase focus. The method is based on the concept that our minds are more agile if we allow regular breaks. By writing down the task and tracking progress, we are reinforcing our focus and recognizing the accomplishment.

The word "pomodoro" is Italian for "tomato."
The word "pomodoro" is Italian for "tomato." | Source

The Steps


1. Choose a specific task to work on and write it down.


2. Start the Pomodoro Timer for 25 minutes.


3. Work on the task until the timer goes off.


4. Place a check on your paper to mark the ending of one Pomodoro.


5. Take a short break (5 minutes)


Repeat the steps until you have completed four Pomodoros. After four, take a longer break of 10 - 15 minutes.

Helpful Tools

Traditionally, a mechanical timer is used with a pencil and paper to record sets of pomodoros. For those of us that work with computers, pomodoro timers are available that work with your internet browser. They provide a visual reminder, an audible cue for breaks, and some include optional webpage blocking to prevent browsing specified pages while working.

Chrome:

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/category/extensions

Firefox:

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/extensions/

Safari:

http://extensions.apple.com/

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