What is the Pomodoro Technique?

Instructor: Brianna Whiting

Brianna has a masters of education in educational leadership, a DBA business management, and a BS in animal science.

Having too much to do can be distracting and leave us feeling stressed. Finding a way to manage our time more effectively so that we get our tasks done and not feel run-down is key. In this lesson, we will learn a technique that can do just that.

Time Management

Have you ever had such a huge list of things to do that you just could not focus on anything else but that list? Perhaps you needed to fax some paperwork to a coworker, print a memo, make some copies, call distributers, go over payroll, hire a new employee, and attend a meeting with a client. Having so many things to do can create stress in our lives and cause us to rush through our tasks. We may even be so caught up with the things we need to do that it distracts us from our current activity. But what if there was a way to keep our minds fresh and still accomplish all of our work? What if we could maximize our time by staying focused and devoted to our work? In this lesson, we will learn about a technique known as the Pomodoro Technique that centers on good time management skills with periodic breaks in between small sessions of focused work time.

The Details of the Pomodoro Technique

So what is the Pomodoro Technique? How does it work? Created by Francesco Cirillo in the 1980s, the Pomodoro Technique is a way to help us manage our time more efficiently. The technique got its name after Francesco Cirillo timed his sessions using a timer that was in the shape of a tomato. The Italian word for tomato is 'pomodoro,' and thus the technique was named.

The Pomodoro Technique helps to keep our minds more focused and fresh so that we can finish projects more efficiently. In order to practice the Pomodoro Technique, you work for 25 minutes, and then you take a five-minute break. When you have finished four 'Pomodoros' or sessions, you get to take a longer break of 15-20 minutes. Thus, after 100 minutes of concentration and dedication to your work (with five-minute breaks in between each 25-minute session), you are rewarded with a longer break.

With each finished 25-minute session, you need to take note of how many times you wanted to procrastinate or thought of another task on your list of things to do. This will help you log your progress.

Why Follow the Pomodoro Technique?

So why should you try the Pomodoro Technique? What can it offer you? Below you will find a list of the benefits.

1. The technique helps your mind refresh during the breaks. Taking a break from your work allows your mind to rest and get ready for the next 25-minute session.

2. It allows you to get through many different tasks. If you make yourself follow the time guidelines, you will feel more compelled to get your task done by the end of the session. Knowing you have only a few minutes before the session ends can be motivation to work faster and stay on track.

3. The technique forces you to better understand what you did with your time. When you know you only have 25 minutes, you will spend less time procrastinating and more time working.

4. It helps make time an asset and not a hindrance. This means that you learn to plan your tasks more efficiently instead of getting frustrated because you do not have enough time. Good planning helps you appreciate the time you have to get things done.

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