The Pomodoro Technique: Efficiency at its Best


I strive daily to discover new ways to work better, harder, and be more efficient. Typically this involves a lot of surfin’ the net, which, as you can imagine, is not conducive to being more efficient. If anything, it is the exact opposite of efficiency. Researchers are discovering that all of these distractions we are bombarded with on a daily basis are actually detrimental to our thought process and can lead to shorter attention spans and possibly inferior intelligence. Think about, how many times do you check your email or get distracted by an advertisement or link on a website? How often do you search the internet not really knowing what you are looking for or what you hope to find. You end up on a shopping site and before you know it you have purchased a pair of boots and a purse when you were supposed to be writing copy for work. It isn’t all bad because if not for randomly searching the ‘net I wouldn’t have found The Pomodoro Technique to begin with and therefore wouldn’t be on my way to productivity transformation.

The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method. It was created by Francesco Cirillo in the 1980’s as a way to improve his own study methods. Essentially, what Cirillo did was use a 25-minute kitchen timer (it happened to be in the shape of a tomato, hence the name “pomodoro” technique). ¬†What Cirillo advises you do is turn on a timer and force yourself to sit down and face the task at hand for at least 25 minutes, with 5 minute breaks in between. Once you have completed 2-4 25 minute timed increments you should have completed your task. It takes a lot of self-control and you have to be dedicated to the focus needed to stay true to the technique. If you don’t have a timer you can use an online timer like this one. (Thanks to Sarah Wilson for directing me to this “method” and the handy online timer as well). I personally like the ticking sound because it really pushes me to completely zone out on any exterior distractions and stay focused on the task at hand. ¬†After you use it a few times it really does become white noise and it is a great way to keep track of your time and efforts. The key to success is to avoid distractions, enhance your focus and concentration.

In just the first few times I tried this timing method I was able to accomplish everything on my to do list and that, to me, is a success!

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