The Pomodoro Technique

The Pomodoro Technique is a popular time management method for maximizing focus, efficiency, and productivity.

In this article:
  • How the Pomodoro Technique works
  • What research says about the Pomodoro Technique
  • Using Basis to enhance your Pomodoros

What is the Pomodoro Technique?

If your productivity and concentration need some boosting, consider using the Pomodoro Technique. Francesco Cirillo developed this popular time management technique in the 1980s. Pomodoro breaks down work into timed intervals, typically 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks. This lets you focus on your work without being interrupted by distractions, improving both efficiency and productivity.

How does Pomodoro work?

The Pomodoro Technique can be broken down into five steps:

  1. Choose a task to complete: This can be any task you need to work on, such as writing an essay, studying for a test, or working on a project.

  2. Set the timer for 25 minutes: Once you have chosen a task, set the timer for 25 minutes. This is the length of time that you will work on the task without being interrupted by distractions.

  3. Work on the task until the timer rings: During the 25-minute interval, work on the task at hand without interruption. No texting, no checking email, no browsing the web. These are 25 minutes dedicated to work.

  4. Take a short break: When the timer rings, take a short break. This can be 5 minutes or longer, depending on your preferences. During the break, do something lightly active like stretching, taking a walk, preparing a snack or coffee to re-energize, or grabbing some water.
  5. Repeat steps 2-4: After the break, set the timer for another 25 minutes and repeat the process. This can be repeated for as many intervals as necessary, depending on the complexity and length of the task at hand.

Consider blocking access to social media, email, and other distracting apps and websites during work intervals. This will make it easier to work through your intervals without becoming distracted. For example, if you have an iPhone, you can set your phone on Do Not Disturb mode.

What research says about the Pomodoro technique

There have been several studies on the effectiveness of the Pomodoro Technique. Some research has found that the technique can improve productivity and reduce task completion time. For example, a study published in the journal Behaviour & Information Technology in 2013 found that participants who used the Pomodoro Technique reported higher levels of satisfaction with their work and lower levels of stress compared to a control group.

The study supports findings from an earlier research report published in Cognition. The report suggests that brief breaks from a task significantly improve focus. As one of the academics behind the report explains, ‘deactivating and reactivating your goals allows you to stay focused.’ He suggests: ‘when faced with long tasks (such as studying before a final exam or doing your taxes), it is best to impose brief breaks on yourself. Brief mental breaks will help you stay focused on your task.’

How you can make the most of  your Pomodoros with Basis

Basis can help you maximize your productivity when using the Pomodoro Technique. You can schedule your Pomodoro sessions during your first high-energy zone of the day. Your high energy zone is a 2.5-3 hour time block that you should make the most of every day depending on what you want to prioritize - whether that is work or exercise. For example, if you’re following a 25-minute work and 5-minute rest schedule, you should be able to fit six productive sessions in a day.

If you’d like to see how our community uses Basis to enhance their Pomodoro productivity, check out our Pomodoro channel on Discord here.

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