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The Pomodoro Technique

The effective method of structuring your workday into small, manageable chunks

By Francesco Cirillo
13-minute read
Audio available
The Pomodoro Technique by Francesco Cirillo

The Pomodoro Technique presents a simple yet effective method of structuring your workday. This method helps to overcome your lack of motivation by cutting large or complex tasks into small, manageable chunks. Using these techniques, you will gain more control over your work, thus making you a more effective worker and work more rewarding.

This is a Blinkist staff pick

“This is the one and only productivity system that always works for me. Whomever I tell about this technique immediately applies it to their lives. Its simplicity makes it genius.“

– Laura, German Editorial Lead at Blinkist

  • Anyone interested in time management and productivity
  • Anyone struggling with procrastination
  • Anyone in search of simple tools to boost their productivity

Francesco Cirillo developed his world-famous productivity technique in the 1980’s while he was studying at university. Back then, he struggled with effectively structuring his workday, ultimately leading to the creation of the Pomodoro Technique. He now runs the website pomodorotechnique.com and offers coaching and training related to his technique.

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The Pomodoro Technique

By Francesco Cirillo
  • Read in 13 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 8 key ideas
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The Pomodoro Technique by Francesco Cirillo
Synopsis

The Pomodoro Technique presents a simple yet effective method of structuring your workday. This method helps to overcome your lack of motivation by cutting large or complex tasks into small, manageable chunks. Using these techniques, you will gain more control over your work, thus making you a more effective worker and work more rewarding.

This is a Blinkist staff pick

“This is the one and only productivity system that always works for me. Whomever I tell about this technique immediately applies it to their lives. Its simplicity makes it genius.“

– Laura, German Editorial Lead at Blinkist

Key idea 1 of 8

Chop your work down into pomodori in order to make it manageable.

For many, when it comes to getting work done, time is our greatest enemy: it seems to stretch endlessly while you’re trying to finish the first slide of your boring presentation, and then it flies away when you waste time surfing the web.

Before you’ve even managed to finish that first slide, it’s time to go home. You look at your to-do list and see that nothing got done; once again, your day was wasted sipping coffee, talking to your colleagues, and checking your email.

If this is what characterizes your workday, then you likely consider yourself inefficient and your work a burden. The guilt and frustration of not accomplishing your to-dos follows you home, and since the work must be done, you decide to work the “night shift” – even then, you spend most of your time surfing the net and checking Facebook.

After another long night of doing nothing, you go to bed frustrated and fatigued, only to wake up the next morning to repeat this vicious cycle. This is a routine that most of us know.

Thankfully, studies have shown that we can easily overcome these unhealthy work habits: all you have to do is divide your work into small, manageable tasks of 20 to 45 minutes a piece, and work within those short chunks without any breaks or interruptions.

This very concept has been used to create the Pomodoro Technique.

The idea is this:

  • Set a timer for 25 minutes (if you want to be true to the method, use a tomato-shaped timer), and spend that time focusing on a single task that you have chosen beforehand – no matter what. This 25-minute chunk is called a pomodoro.
  • Once the timer rings, take a 5-minute break to relax, drink a glass of water, or move around a little.

After your break, you’ll be refreshed and ready for your next pomodoro!

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