Time management hacks: The Pomodoro Technique

Managing one’s time properly is something that many people find difficulty in doing. Whether you’re working for an advertising company in Makati or studying at an architecture university in Manila, you find yourself cramming before a deadline every now and then.

During the 1980s, an Italian named Francesco Cirillo developed the Pomodoro Technique, a method one can use to effectively manage time for maximum productivity. He called it Pomodoro because he used a timer in the shape of a tomato (pomodoro means tomato in Italian) to track his work as a student.

Stages of Pomodoro


In using the Pomodoro Technique, the user breaks down work into 25-minute chunks called pomodoros, and then a brief rest of five minutes. To effectively use this time management method, one must prioritize tasks by listing them down and track how much effort are exerted in doing those tasks. Record the data for processing into information that will help the user to determine or visualize areas of improvement

The Pomodoro Technique has six steps:

  1. List down the tasks for the day.
  2. Set the timer to 25 minutes.
  3. Work on the task for the allotted time. If a distraction comes to mind, jot it down and return to the task immediately.
  4. When the pomodoro ends and the timer rings, check all the completed tasks.
  5. Take a short break of three to five minutes, and return to step 1.
  6. Take a longer break of 15 to 30 minutes after every four pomodoros

A Pomodoro is a To-Do list

When work is listed down and broken into chunks of time, you’ll be able to estimate just how much effort is needed to finish that task. Because a break is taken after every pomodoro, you’re given a fresh start when the next pomodoro begins. These short bursts of work with breaks in between enables you to be constantly and consistently productive, and of course, eager for the next break.

When distracted, a pomodoro must be stopped and you must begin again. This helps you to avoid distractions and push through the pomodoro. The longer the technique is used, the better you hopefully become at avoiding distractions.

Freedom from distractions

A pomodoro is only limited to 25 minutes because that time is too short to let distractions take over. The five-minute break at the end of each pomodoro gives a positive feeling that can make the user look forward to a fresh start of a new pomodoro.

The Pomodoro Technique can help you focus on the work instead of stressing over the amount and the time it takes to get it done, making you look at the work in a positive light rather than becoming more pressured.


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