Pomodoro is one of those foolish-sounding productivity things that actually works for me

April 5, 2016


I hesitated to write this because some of these productivity things sound like something you’d see on Dr. Oz. But I digress.

Pomodoro is pretty simple. The technique helps you keep focused by giving you 25 minutes to work on a certain task:

  1. Pick a task
  2. Do it for 25 minutes
  3. Take a 5 min break (or skip it)
  4. Repeat

The tomato part is actually from a tomato-shaped timer the inventor used. That’s pretty much it. You could have a goal of say, 10 pomodoros per day. You’re checking off your to-dos while the reward center of your brain is probably sending out little shots of dopamine.

How has this helped? When a thought crosses my mind to look something up, I notice my timer and – now this is where I do need to have some discipline – I don’t go down the rabbit hole. Instead I save that thought for later. The break, or lunch, or later on. Funny thing though, a lot of the time I skip the break. Because of this I get into a much better flow. I’m able to sink deeper into what I’m doing, and skipping that break isn’t a problem.

If you’re easily distracted by having access to all the world’s information at your fingertips, or you fall pray to multitasking, give Pomodoro a try. If you’re all good, fantastic (you can’t see it but I’m shaking my fist at you).


I use Pomodoro Time Pro for Mac, also available for iPhone. There’s a perfectly fine free version too.

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