The Pomodoro Technique

You must have heard of Pomodoro Technique, one of the most famous time management ideas these days. It was created by Francesco Cirillo back in 1980s, and perfectly suits all those programmists and designers who spend their entire days in front of a computer. Usually when someone pulls their chair away from a desk and they realise the fact that life exists outside virtual reality, they feel totally exhausted and emotionally take after “vegetables”. Or tomatoes (which are also called pomodoros). This life hack helps to remain fresh and focused as well as boosts your productivity. Let’s see now how it works.

Basically it’s all about splitting your working timeline into segments. For example, you work during 25 minutes before taking a 5 minute break to call your mom back or go grab some snacks. Then you work another 25 minutes before the next 5 minute break and so on. You repeat this cycle four times before taking a longer break for 15 minutes. It may sound weird but it really works, especially when you have to do something you don’t feel like doing. These 25-minute time segments trick your brain into stopping postponement of such tasks. Moreover, you end up completing them faster than you thought you would. The process is super simple and truly effective.

Pomodoro (Italian version for “tomato”)  is used to name each of these intervals. Why? Because Francesco Cirillo used a kitchen timer shaped like a tomato as his personal timer (you can see it for yourself on their official website). In order to make this technique even more useful, you can make a research of how many pomodoros you’d need to, for example, draw a landing page design or even write this blog post. Once you have the idea you’ll be able to better organise your timetable. I use a simple paper notebook to keep track of my daily tasks, and I sometimes draw small pomodoro icons next to each one of them. This way I have a better picture for my daily planning.

Besides, taking short breaks really helps to save your eyes from computer vision syndrome. I don’t think that anyone wants to experience neck pain and see the world as after applying a “Gaussian blur” filter. It’s really necessary to look away now and then or just close your eyes for 20 seconds. But usually we don’t do it anyway because we’re humans (sounds like a perfect excuse, doesn’t it?) That’s why if you decide to apply Pomodoro Technique, it will also take care of your eyesight. Or in other words, if you don’t use it your eyes will end up being just as red as pomodoro 😛

If you don’t feel like ordering a tomato shaped kitchen timer (which I think is a very cool thing), you can choose from a great variety of applications to download. Personally I use this one, but I’m really waiting for an official app that should be out soon. If you want to learn more about the technique itself, they also sell a Pomodoro Technique hardcover book. Anyway, stop distracting and start being more productive!