The Pomodoro Technique explained – a time management technique that encourages Procrastination

Its the end of the year and I’m considering my plans for the coming year 2014. One key challenge i’ve had in 2013 is Time Management and I’ve been trying to tackle it but it seems its a beast that take time and practice to be tamed. Then i came across a presentation that gave me an insight into some very useful time management techniques. Among the techniques listed, one thing that caught my eye was the Pomodoro Technique .

I’ve started using it. Lets see how it goes. In the meantime, i’ll just give you an idea of what its about.

Work around Procrastination. Procrastinate between Intense sprints of work – Pomodoro Technique

Pomodoro – Italian for Tomato

The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method that is based on the idea that frequent breaks can improve mental agility. It was developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980’s.

The aim of the Pomodoro Technique is to enable a task to be broken into Intervals known as “Pomodori”. The intervals are usually 25 minutes at a time followed by a break which allows you to relax before setting another interval to continue the task.

Implementing the technique

There are five steps in the technique

  1. Decide on the task to be done.
  2. Set the pomodoro timer to n minutes (traditionally 25 but can be less or more)
  3. Work on the task until the timer rings; record with an x
  4. Take a short break (3-5 minutes)
  5. Every four “pomodori” take a longer break (15–30 minutes)

Some other details about the Pomodoro Technique

  • The stages of planning, tracking, recording, processing and visualizing are fundamental to the technique.
  • As “pomodori” are completed, they are recorded, adding to a sense of accomplishment and providing raw data for subsequent self-observation and improvement.
  • For the purposes of the technique, “pomodoro” refers to the interval of time spent working.
  • After task completion, any time remaining in the “pomodoro” is devoted to overlearning.
  • A short (3-5 minute) rest separates consecutive “pomodori”. Four “pomodori” form a set. A longer (15-30 minute) rest is taken between sets

An essential aim of the technique is to reduce the impact of internal and external interruptions on focus and flow. A “pomodoro” is indivisible. When interrupted during a “pomodoro” either the other activity must be recorded and postponed (inform – negotiate – schedule – call back) or the “pomodoro” must be abandoned.


The creator of the Technique, Francesco Cirillo recommends using a mechanical timer (Sold by FC Garage GmBH ), paper and pencil. According to Francesco, The physical act of winding up the timer confirms the user’s determination to start the task; ticking externalizes desire to complete the task; ringing announces a break.

There are software based alternatives available which cost less and are suitable who prefer having it on their devices.

Many thanks to these sources that helped me understand the Pomodoro technique.

1. The Pomodoro Technique 
 2. Pomodoro Technique – Wikipedia
3. Pomodoro Technique software – Wikipedia
4. Focus Booster – Download
6. Pomodoro Technique – University of Illinois
7. Pomodoro Technique Cheatsheet


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