Jan 29

Boosting your productivity with Pomodoro

I’ve heard it said so many times before, but didn’t believe it until I had to use this technique. The Pomodoro work style! You’re thinking, what does Italian cooking have to do with productivity, unless you’re trying to get dinner on the table? (Pomodori is Italian for tomatoes)

The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s, who named it after the tomato-shaped kitchen timer he used when he was a university student. The purpose is to use a timer set to 25 minutes and work without interruptions until time is up, then take a 5-minute break before continuing on your project. The idea is that frequent breaks improve your alertness.

If you tend to sit too long at your desk or behind your computer (like me) then this is a useful method to help avoid unnecessary stress or injury to your back, neck or wrists. Here’s the reason why sitting too long behind your desk is not healthy.

Although I had a different reason for using the technique, I have to say it is very true. I notice that I am more focused, maybe because I know I only have 25 minutes to work before the bell rings, reminding me that time is up. The break forces me to get up from my desk and do something else, like filing. Not one of my favorite tasks, but since I have only five minutes I don’t mind at all, even if it means that filing takes longer. At least papers get filed right? And stress on my back caused by sitting too long is reduced. As a big plus, I feel excited to get back to my task on the computer; it almost feels like I am competing against myself to finish my tasks 🙂

Feel like trying Pomodor? Here are some resources.


I use http://e.ggtimer.com/ as an instant timer on my computer. Select Pomodoro and Refresh the page after the break.


If you prefer the kitchen timer, buy one in your local household store or on Amazon.

An easy way to learn the technique with illustrations in a bookformat

You can learn much more at Francesco Cirillo’s site http://www.pomodorotechnique.com/ and even become a Certified Pomodoro Master!