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What is the Pomodoro Technique?

What is the Pomodoro Technique?

What is the Pomodoro Technique?

Definition: The Pomodoro Technique is a work management method (suggested by Francesco Cirillo), based upon the idea of breaking tasks into a series of 25-minute segments which are interspersed by five-minute rest periods.

The purpose of the method is to increase work efficiency by maximising concentration and minimizing mental fatigue.

Does the Pomodoro Technique work?

The Pomodoro Technique does work because human minds have a limited amount of available energy, so we can sustain peak levels of mental focus only for short periods, before our attention wains and we risk making mistakes.

If we take a short break BEFORE our attention limits are reached, then we can replenish our mental energy and start afresh with renewed high levels of concentration.

But if we do NOT rest before our attention span limits are reached, then we make more mistakes, which may take a long time to rectify.

The Pomodoro Technique is a method that makes us take rest breaks every 25 minutes, so we never reach mental exhaustion, so we maintain a higher quality of work, for much longer.

In addition, we avoid being forced to re-do work that was ruined by "silly mistakes" caused by lack of concentration, (such as failing to save a document after we spent an hour writing it).

How to apply the Pomodoro Technique.

1. Pick a task and break it into its smaller component parts.

2. Set a timer for 25 minutes and begin work on the task.

3. When the timer sounds that 25 minutes are up, take a five-minute break.

4. Leave the task and get a glass of water or go for a walk. (Don't interrupt anyone else's work during your break).

5. After five minutes, return to the task and reset the alarm for another Pomodoro 25 minutes.

6. Each Pomodoro is half hour long, (25 minutes, + 5 minutes break).

7. After four Pomodoro's (two hours) take a longer break of between fifteen and thirty minutes.

If we follow this pattern, then we work more efficiently for longer.

Try it for yourself and see.

Why is it called the Pomodoro Technique?

Because the inventor, Francisco Cirillo used a plastic timer that resembled a tomato, which in Italian is Pomodoro.

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About the Author: Chris Farmer


Chris Farmer is the founder of the Corporate Coach Group and has many years’ experience in training leaders and managers, in both the public and private sectors, to achieve their organisational goals, especially during tough economic times. He is also well aware of the disciplines and problems associated with running a business.

Over the years, Chris has designed and delivered thousands of training programmes and has coached and motivated many management teams, groups and individuals. His training programmes are both structured and clear, designed to help delegates organise their thinking and, wherever necessary, to improve their techniques and skills.

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