The Pomodoro technique

pomodoroThe Pomodoro technique aims to improve concentration on ongoing tasks by giving the user a notion of a valuable measurement working unit system.

The technique is as simple as dividing your work in chunks of fixed n minutes called pomodori, being the norm 25 minutes. Between these chunks you must take a short break (3- 5 minutes), and for every four chunks a longer one (15-30 minutes).

Breaks should bring a change of context in what you are doing to avoid brain burnout (eat some candy, go outside, take a shower, visit your pet…)

Pomodoro is merciless when it comes to interrupts, no matter if the interruption wasn’t your fault, a pomodori can’t be resumed. So, if an interrupt takes place, abandon the pomodori, make sure the next one won’t be interrupted, take a short break and restart.

With the Benefits of this technique you will improve:

  • Focusing: Not being able to interrupt the pomodori, if you are diligent about this one (you must, or else don’t bother) you will have a library student mindset. At first your bad habits may want to kick in (check phone, web, media player…) but if you stay put, the urge to finish the pomodori will make you develop the practice of staying focused.
  • Speed: Being able to track you work upon some measurement (pomodori) will help you to visualize your productivity. You may have heard of exercise tracking apps like endomondo, these apps will record your time laps for given segments in your workout route. This encourages people to beat past time marks. I’m sure you get the analogy.
  • Planning: Work doesn’t have to be repetitive, that may depend on what you are doing, but the more you apply pomodoro to your working sessions the more you will be able to measure how much pomodori will take you to finish an upcoming task. Tracking your pomodori in a spreadsheet is a common practice.

If you google for pomodoro apps you’ll find quite a bunch, for myself I use focusbooster which shows a little clock widget to track your pomodoris and breaks.

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