The Pomodoro Technique for Productivity and Time Management

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The Pomodoro Technique is a productivity improvement technique invented by Francesco Cirilo in the late 1980s. The technique involves using a timer to break down work intervals, initially in 25 minutes, separated by short breaks. The intervals are known as Pomodoro, after the tomato-shaped kitchen timer that Francesco Cirilo used as he was a student. Since its creation, the technique has been used by a number of apps websites and also people to provide timers and instructions.

This method is closely related to other productivity techniques such as timeboxing and iterative and incremental development.

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Steps Involved in The Pomodoro Technique

The original technique involved six steps to be followed to achieve higher productivity:

  • Decide on the task to be done.
  • Set the Pomodoro timer (traditionally to 25 minutes).
  • Work on the tasks
  • Stop working when the timer rings and put a checkmark for the first complete Pomodoro.
  • When you have less than four checkmarks, take a short break (3–5 minutes), then repeat the second step.
  • After four complete Pomodori (plural of Pomodoro), take a longer break (15–30 minutes), After this, reset your checkmark count to zero, then begin the entire process again.

The planning, tracking, recording and visualizing are important for the method. When planning, tasks are prioritized by recording them in a To Do List. By doing this, users can effectively estimate the amount of effort each task requires. By writing them down, users get a sense of accomplishment. Along with this, they get data on their self-observation and improvement over time. The time allocated between each pomodoro is devoted to overlearning. The breaks also help in assimilation.

Four pomodori forms a set. Each set is separated by longer breaks (usually 15-30 minutes) whereas pomodori are separated by short 3-5 minute breaks. The goal of this technique is to improve focus by reducing the internal and external interruptions affecting a persons focus towards the task at hand. Pomodoros are strictly indivisible. If one is interrupted, the only actions that can be done must be postponing the pomodoro (using the inform – negotiate – schedule – call back strategy) or completely abandoning the pomodoro.

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