Francesco Cirillo created the famous Pomodoro technique, warning can make you a productivity nut.
Wait, what is Pomodoro? A bird, an instrument, an idea what?
The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. The technique uses a timer to break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks. Wikipedia
You might have seen this famous picture as well, maybe. Pomodoro in Italian means tomato. Cirillo used this kitchen timer while he was a university student. It is a productivity tool, or better let’s call it a representation of the idea which helps us in being more productive. How does it work? What is the step? Where lies the magic?
Typical Pomodoro workflow
- Decide on a task you would be working on, typically in a 25-minute window
- Take a 3- 5 minutes break post that
- Hit another session of Pomodoro, repeat until 4 Pomodoro
- Take a longer Break 15–30 minutes
Basic maths 25 * 4 = 100 minutes of work , 5* 4 + 30 =50 minutes of break
Why is this effective?
When you decide on a task, it helps you eliminate the chaos of what to work upon. In your list at the back of your head or in your checklists you have N options. A lot of time is consumed in bouncing around the idea of what to pick up? There are again N constraints to the task and deciding what to do really helps you pick up the essential.
When we set up a small goal like 25 minutes, it becomes easier to hit. Imagine a 20-page report. Can you write it in a 25-minute sprint? Probably not. But, it will get you started. You will knock off a few pages. The cognitive load to work is suddenly shifted from writing a 20-page report shifts to just staying with the task for 25 minutes.
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The mini-breaks help in regaining focus, like the breaks between exercise circuit. While we are working the focused state kicks in. On break, it lets us take a step back. Kicks in the diffused state of mind. You can take a deeper look at this on the Learning how to Learn Coursera course or a summary video on the topic. It’s like taking a step back before taking the jump.
The big break is the big carrot. It’s the prize. Give your brain and yourself a well-deserved break. The dopamine rush it deserves after all the hard work. It also trains our brain to like the process. Building a habit to work and get rewarded at end of the cycle. This is where the fun kicks in. For Some people award can be an episode of Anime, we can take it a step ahead and replace it with manga or gaming session or catching an episode.
You can totally play with the duration of time you want to sit and break after you know the heart of it. Some people recommend a 90-minute cycle also. I would suggest to start with 25 and see where we can reach incrementally. Gamification helps in keeping us glued and knocking off the checklist.
Where to get it?
- You can get an actual Pomodoro device like the picture
- you can get an app
- You can get a web app: https://pomofocus.io/
- You can go full-timer mode on your mobile phones. #1
This article was written using the Pomodoro technique. It took 3 Pomodoro sessions to write it and no Pokemons were hurt. Go ahead and make your own PizzaDoro, I will sign up for that.