The Pomodoro Technique – A Time Management Strategy For Improving Productivity

Lockdown 3.0 has forced many people to work from home for the first time, or for longer than they may have done so before. Working in a home environment can offer plenty of distractions, which in turn affects our ability to be productive. Struggling to keep on top of work contributes to stress, anxiety and feeling overwhelmed.

The Pomodoro Technique is a time-management system developed by Francisco Cirillo in the 1980s. It was designed to improve productivity by breaking up time spent on tasks into small manageable units of time. Each interval is known as a ‘Pomodoro’ (from the Italian word ‘tomato’) after the tomato-shaped kitchen timer that Cirillo used as a university student.

How does it work?
The Pomodoro Technique has a few simple steps:
1. Choose a task to work on (or a smaller part of a large task)
2. Set your timer for 25 minutes (25 mins = 1 Pomodoro)
3. Work on the task for the duration of the Pomodoro, with no distractions.
4. After the timer sounds, take a short 5 minute break.
5. Repeat this cycle (1-4) until you have completed 4 Pomodoro, then take a longer break – typically 20-30 minutes.

The idea behind the technique is that the timer instills a sense of urgency. Rather than feeling as if you have endless time in the day to get things done and then inadvertently squander time on distractions, you know you only have 25 minutes to make as much progress on a task as possible.

This site offers a Pomodoro timer so that you do not need to use your phone, which tends to offer many distractions:

The Pomodoro Technique can help anyone who often feels distracted or overwhelmed to focus on what matters, and to achieve a sense of productivity.