Did you know that tomatoes can help you concentrate? The Pomodoro method is an effective way to help you concentrate on whatever task needs to be done.
For curious people like me, working in an open landscape is a challenge. My personal radar is always active, this means that it does not take much to redirect my attention from what I am working on to whatever goes on in my landscape. I find that the Pomodoro method helps me to force me to concentrate.
What is the Pomodoro method?
The Pomodoro method is a productivity concept developed by Francesco Cirillo in the 1980s.
The concept is to break down your time into segments of 25 minutes, followed by a 5-minute break. These 25-minute intervals go under the name Pomodoros.
After doing four Pomodoros (2 hours), it is recommended to take a longer break, maybe 10 or 20 minutes.
The word “Pomodoro” is Italian for “Tomato” The Pomodoro method gets its name from, not the tomato, but the tomato-shaped kitchen timer (left).
Personally, I find that I’m mostly using the Pomodoro method to force myself to do tasks that I really have to do, but hate doing. This is when my concentration is the weakest, and when I need help to stay on track and focused.
We all know what I’m talking about: Doing the taxes, cleaning the house, or finishing your monthly report. It is so boring that even filing papers seem exciting. Anyway, you just have to get it done.
The Pomodoro method is also a good way to help you stay away from Twitter, Facebook, or other social media.
Scheduling with the Pomodoro method
Some people that use this method extensively will give each task on their list “Pomodoro points”, meaning that a task with 2 points will take one hour, including breaks. (2×25 minutes of work, plus 2×5 minutes of break-time)
The Pomodoro method is a great tool for concentration and fits perfectly with other productivity methods like GTD (Getting Things Done). A bonus with using Pomodoro is that you become aware how much time a task actually takes to complete, making you a better planner in the future.
Getting started with the Pomodoro method
- Choose a task that you have to finish.
- Set the timer for 25 minutes.
- Work uninterrupted until the timer rings.
- Mark off where you are on the task.
- Set the timer for 5 minutes.
- Take a well-deserved break.
- Start with item 2. Repeat until the task is complete.
What tools do I need?
All you really need is a timer. You can use a kitchen timer, the timer on your cell phone or your wristwatch. If you want to have a dedicated timer, I would recommend the timer pictured above.
There is an online timer called Tomato Timer.
There are several Pomodoro apps, both for Android and iPhone. I use Brain Focus.
More information about the Pomodoro method
If you want to go deeper into the Pomodoro method, Amazon has a few books.
The founder of Pomodoro method has created this video:
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