A Guide To The Pomodoro Technique

A Guide To The Pomodoro Technique

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The Pomodoro technique is a task and time management approach that was developed by Francesco Cirillo in 1980. The concept behind this approach is that periodic breaks while studying or working help to enhance the power to focus on the task. The theory further states that winding of a timer reminds the brain of the work and the sound of the ticking of the timer helps to focus on the job.


The primary goal of this task management technique is to facilitate a simplistic procedure for enhancing productivity which may do the following:

1. Increase focus and concentration by minimizing the distractions.
2. Create an awareness of decision-making.
3. Improve motivation and keep it constant.
4. Strengthen determination to achieve targets.
5. Make a more accurate estimation terms.


The technique is based on 2 basic assumptions:

1. Better utilization of the mind helps to accomplish better clarity in the thinking process, greater consciousness and more focused way of learning.
2. A use of easy-to-use tools minimizes complexity and this encourages concentrating the efforts on the jobs to be accomplished within a time frame.
The technique draws its inspiration from the ideas of relating to how a mind works, cognitive thinking by Buzan, time-boxing and dynamics of play by Gadamer.


When Cirillo was studying in university, he was searching for methods to study more efficiently by taking breaks while studying. Thereafter, he came up with this technique. A Pomodoro consists of 4 slots of 25 minutes and each of these chunks is called Pomodori.

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The workflow of this technique is as follows:

1. Decide the tasks to be accomplished withing a day.
2. Make an estimate of the amount of effort required to complete each of this task. For example, if a task is estimated to take 25 minutes to complete, then it is 1 Pomodori.
3. Set the timer to “n” minutes. “n” is usually 25.
4. Keep on working till the timer goes off and if a distraction comes in mind, then write it off elsewhere and get back to work immediately. If a task is finished before the end of a Pomodori, use the remaining time for reflecting on the completed work and how to enhance further learning.
5. As the timer goes off, compare the work done with the task. Take a 3-5 minutes gap to relax before the next Pomodori. It is important to note that for a given task each Pomodori is of exact same duration.
6. After 4 Pomodoris, take a longer break of around 15 to 30 minutes.
7. Repeat the steps till the task is completed.


Positive results of the technique depend on various factors that may be summarized as below:

1. Inverting the dependency on time

The technique perceives the passage of time as positive. Every Pomodoro offers a prospect of improvement. With more time, one gets a chance to reorganise more. The more time passes, the more easily the jobs are scheduled. Consequently, the feeling of anxiety is relieved soon. This causes a sharper focus and gives rise to productivity.

2. Regulating complexity

One may maximize motivation my undertaking several tasks that are neither too complex nor too easy to accomplish. Less complex tasks are easy to estimate. Hence, they enhance quantitative estimates. While the more difficult tasks require breaking down the jobs so that they deliver incremental value and help to boost motivation for accomplishing the goals.

3. Detachment

Periodic breaks used in this technique help to achieve more coherent, conscious and effective mental ability which increases productivity.

4. Sustainable pace

Respecting the timetable for periodic breaks and work ensures continuity. By taking breaks between Pomodoros, one may ensure a flow of work at a sustainable pace. One will get tired, which is natural, but one will never be exhausted.


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