The easiest way to MAXIMIZE your productivity!

How to increase your productivity by optimizing your use of time.

Greg James
Dec 26, 2018 · 4 min read

What is the Pomodoro Technique?

The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980’s. It uses a timer to break down work into intervals, 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks. Each of these work intervals are called pomodoros. Pomodoros are the plural in English of the Italian word pomodoro which means tomato. Why? This is after the tomato-shaped kitchen timer that Cirillo used. Despite being around for approximately 40 years, many people have not heard of it. In this article, we will discuss the implementation of the technique and its effects on productivity.

The technique can be broken down into 6 basic principles:

1. Decide on the task to be done.

2. Set the pomodoro timer (25 minutes).

3. Work on the task.

4. End work when the timer rings and put a check mark on a piece of paper.

5. If you have fewer than four check marks, take a short break (3–5 minutes), then go to step 2.

6. After four pomodoros, take a longer break (15–30 minutes), reset your check mark count to zero, then go to step 1.

What’s the science behind the pomodoro Technique?

While I am personally a strong believer in the technique, don’t just take my word for it listen to the evidence:

Perception of Time

Henri Bergson was a philosopher and winner of the Nobel prize in literature in 1927. In his works, he talks about the existence of various aspects of time. He concluded that time’s dimensional aspect was the only one of them produces anxiety. The dimensional aspect of time forces us to measure it and triggers the idea of being late. For example, “I only have thirty minutes to go to class”. But, seeing time as a succession of events (I wake up, take a shower, have breakfast, go to work etc.) doesn’t generate stress. Thus, one approach is to see time in a different way. For example, seeing time as a vehicle to achieve something and not as something we have to reach for. This reduces anxiety and leads to less stressful and more productive working experience.

The benefits of the length of the pomodoro

Various studies have demonstrated that we have a maximum attention span in work intervals from 20 to 45 minutes. The perfect quantity of working time is not defined and varies from person to person. A half an hour is a time which allows you to make measurements and gives you peace of mind. It assures you that you can deal soon with the interruptions which may happen. Having a long interval, such as an hour or more, may cause you to stress over these interruptions. Such as answering texts that you may have received.

The benefits of short breaks on concentration

According to an article from Science Daily, “A new study in the journal Cognition overturns a decades-old theory about the nature of attention and demonstrates that even brief diversions from a task can dramatically improve one’s ability to focus on that task for prolonged periods”. This makes a lot of sense when you actually think about it, if you sit and focus on a task consecutively you will get burned out and eventually give up on the task. But taking a short break allows you to “refuel” and prepare for the next work session.

That’s great and all, but how do I use it?

The pomodoro technique is surprisingly easy to use. Cirillo implemented the technique using simple kitchen timer. However, you don’t have to carry a kitchen timer around with you, you can easily implement the same technique using your phones timer app or by getting a pomodoro app from the app store. However, if you are looking for a fun way to use the pomodoro technique and help fight deforestation check out my article on the popular productivity app Forest.

Conclusion

Thus, the reasons listed above prove the power of the pomodoro technique. Something as simple as working in intervals can have a great impact on your productivity. This could prove to be great for students and professionals. It allows them to focus and work on tasks without getting burned out and tired.

Thank you for reading, please feel free to 👏 and share to help others find it.

See you soon. 😃

Sources

1. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110208131529.htm

ScienceNow

You don’t want the science later, you want the science NOW.

Greg James

Written by

Greg James is computer science student at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

ScienceNow

You don’t want the science later, you want the science NOW.

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