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The Pomodoro® Technique

Jan 12, 2022

Can we learn to work with time, instead of struggling against it?

Recently, I added a post about Parkinson’s Law, which seems to be too often true, although not inevitable.  So how can we apportion the time we have on any given day, for any task, to be more efficient, productive and ultimately, creative?

Parkinson’s Law

Parkinson’s Law
Work Expands to Fill the Time Allotted

In the 1980’s, Francesco Carillo developed the Pomodoro® Technique, a time management strategy that helps to increase productivity using focused work sessions and frequent short breaks.  The name “pomodoro” was inspired by a kitchen timer in the shape of a tomato.

The basic technique:

  1. Prioritize a list of tasks – consider the amount of effort each requires
  2. Set a timer to 25 minutes – discourage interruptions
  3. Work on a task until the timer signals (25 minutes)
  4. Take a five-minute break
  5. After four subsequent pomodoros, take a 15-30-minute break

Proponents of the technique advocate for physical stimuli that act as cues.  Winding a timer confirms one’s intention to start the task; the ticking represents the user’s desire to complete the task; ringing announces a break.  Additional tips:  At the beginning of each “Pomodoro” period, take a moment to review your work.  Evaluate the time you give to each aspect of the project, proposal, budget or report you want to complete.  Do you need to spend more time on research, less on revising?  More time thinking than collaborating?

If you’d like to learn more, you may want to check out Franceso’ Cirillo’s web site: