Multiply Your Productivity with Pomodoro

The only productivity guide you'll ever need


I have 25 minutes on my pomodoro timer.

What’s Pomodoro?

The original pomodoro timer by the creators of the technique — But any timer will do.

The Pomodoro: A simple tool used to increase focus with 25 minutes of activity followed by a 5 minute break before resuming another cycle. A long break of 20 minutes is scheduled after 4 cycles to allow for memory consolidation and energy recuperation.

A video on the technique : http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=1nBwfZZvjKo#!

My Experience with Pomodoro:

I started using pomodoro back in university to focus better. When I first started, I tried it half heartedly and it didn’t work. After about a week, I buckled down and committed to it. I was amazed by how much more productive I was able to be. Hence, being consistent for at least a week with this system is crucial to experience the effectiveness of the system.

Pomodoro naturally breaks down a big task into smaller subtasks. It gives you small wins to keep you motivated throughout the day. Five minute breaks are enough to make sure you don’t miss an important mail or the end of the world. Don’t follow the pomodoro timer to the second. If you undershoot/overshoot by a couple minutes, it doesn’t matter. Take an early break, or have a shorter break.


My Pomodoro Scale:

Through my experience with pomodoro, I noticed the number of pomodoros completed in a day is directly proportional with your productivity for the day. Hence:

0 − 4 a day : Pomodoro Student
5 − 8 a day: Pomodoro Graduate
9 − 12 a day : Pomodoro Expert
13 − 16 a day: pomodoro Jedi

Remember, some days you’ll be a Jedi, others not. The important thing is to be persistent and in the long run your average pomodoro completed will increase.

Forgive yourself for bad days, and keep shooting for the good ones.

Apps to Help You Get Started:

1. Pomodoro with Kanban : https://kanbanflow.com/
2. On Google Chrome: http://www.pomodoro.me/
3. On web : http://tomatoi.st/gjxs
4. On iPhone/ iPad: Pomodoro app
5. On Android: Pomodoro Calendar, Pomodroido
6. On Mac: http://tomato.es/

What to do in the 5 minutes break?

  1. You can do some stretching.
  2. Or some breathing exercises.
  3. Play a 5 minute chess game at http://www.chess.com/
  4. Visit these websites: Cute Overload, 9gag, The Onion, Kongregate, or Facebook
  5. Call your spouse, partner, mom, or anyone you care about and tell them I love/miss you.
  6. Watch any of these (search for this in youtube, they are really awesome videos)

My Reverse Pomodoro — I created this by accident.

On the days I decide to be lazy, I use the reverse pomodoro where I will do something useless for 25 minutes and then do a quick useful thing for 5 minutes (e.g. calling the magazine subscription service to unsubscribe, clearing out my snail mails, organise my CDs). These spikes of productivity made me feel productive even on my lazy days.


Okay, I have 2 minutes left.

Let me share a list of my favourite movies that might be useful during your reverse pomodoro days :

Pulp Fiction, Ghostbusters, Run Lola Run, The Matrix, Saving Private Ryan, Up , Inception, Inglorious Basterds , Lord of War , Touch of Evil, Lion King, Star Wars Episode IV , The Usual Suspects, The Dark Knight, Raiders of the Lost Ark , Catch Me If You Can, Watchmen , Momento,..

There. Break time.

P.S. Sincere apologies for those who thought this post involved sautéed fresh tomatoes and capers. At least, here’s a picture of a pomodoro!

I would hate to disappoint my readers.

Thanks for reading this far! If you got value out of this hack, it would mean a lot to me for you to scroll down a bit farther and hit the recommend button.

First published on #SKHACK, a website full with life hacks (hacks that will make you wealthier, healthier and/or smarter) that have been curated by SK.