Pomodoro Technique

A proven time management life hack

Alexander Sergeev avatar
Written by Alexander Sergeev
Updated over a week ago

The Pomodoro Technique is the method that teaches to work with time, instead of struggling against it.

This revolutionary time management system helps you power through distractions and hyper-focus, getting things done in short bursts with frequent breaks to come up for relaxing.

The method was invented in 1987 by Francesco Cirillo to help procrastinators and the perennially distracted. Actually, it is a simple system to boost personal productivity.

According to this method, you break your workday into 25-minute chunks separated by five-minute breaks. These intervals are referred to as “pomodoros”. After 4 pomodoros, you take a longer break of 15-20 minutes.

The timer instills a sense of urgency. Instead of feeling like you have endless time in the workday to get things done, you know you have just 25 minutes to make as much progress on a task as possible. And the forced breaks help to cure that burnt-out feeling people experience toward the end of the day.

How can you apply it to your work?

6 steps of the Pomodoro Technique process

The process includes 6 steps:

  1. Choosing a task you want to get done. It's important to choose a task that deserves your full and undivided attention.

  2. Setting the Pomodoro (timer) for 25 minutes. Try to spend exactly 25 minutes on this task and not to interrupt yourself.

  3. Working until your Pomodoro rings. Dive into the task for the next 25 minutes. If you suddenly realize you have something else you need to do, write the task down on a sheet of paper.

  4. Putting a checkmark on a paper when your Pomodoro rings.

  5. Taking a short break to relax. Grab a cup of coffee, go for a walk or do something else to make your brains relax.

  6. Taking a longer break every 4 pomodoros. You can take a longer break after you’ve completed four pomodoros. 20 or 30 minutes should be enough. Your brain will use this time to assimilate new information and rest before the next round.

How the Pomodoro technique may change your team

In the time-poor environment, it’s normal to want to regain some control over your day, that's why the Pomodoro method as the simple management method looks like a proven solution.

Using the technique, companies have an opportunity to develop a shared set of practices that protect their teams from the frequent and aggressive pressures of time. They simply transform this pressure into the opportunity to improve.

Applying the technique, you can:

  • handle interruptions and minimize mistakes due to lack of concentration.

  • reduce the length and number of meetings

  • minimize estimation errors

  • be able to simplify and organize tasks

  • improve motivation

  • understand the effort a task will take and reduce the complexity of tasks

  • meet deadlines without time pressure

  • share with team members the same point of view about what to do

  • create an effective team timetable without bottlenecks and interruptions.

  • avoid complex, unmanageable and unreachable goals

  • optimize the interaction between team members

The Pomodoro technique is often used by developers, designers, marketers or other specialist who have to turn out regular packages of creative work. 

It is also useful for people who do not have rigid goals or packages of work. The method is remarkably adaptable to different kinds of work.

Would you like to get more info about popular techniques and methods used in product and project management? Start with the following: 

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