The 365 Commitment

The Pomodoro Technique

I saw a poster yesterday that reminded me of this concept. Francesco Cirillo shares this technique through books, lectures and classes you can purchase.

The essential concept is simple and has become widespread. At least the idea has spread. I really do not think people actually do his process correctly. He explains it best. From his website:

“I was a student at the university in 1987 and I had to take the sociology exam in September. I couldn’t keep my mind focused on my book. I was constantly getting distracted. I made a humble bet with myself: ‘Can you stay focused for two minutes without distraction?’ I went to the kitchen, grabbed a timer and came back to my table. The timer was red and shaped like a Pomodoro (tomato in English). I wound it up to two minutes and started reading my book. When the timer rang I had won my bet against Time. Surprised, I began to ask myself why it had worked? I gradually increased the amount of time when I set the timer. I got to one hour, but that was too much. I didn’t take too long to realize that, for a number of factors, the ideal unit of work was 25 minutes followed by a 2-5 minute break.”

A worthy experiment would be to try the core of his technique for a full week. A basic kitchen timer is the best, as your phone is an evil form of tremendous distraction. Break your focused project time into 25 minute chunks with 5 minute breaks in between. After you do that, then take a longer break. Repeat. Pretty simple really and rather effective. Funny, all the great ideas are that way. Complete simplicity, yet deceiving in the complex nature of why this concept works.

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