The Pomodoro Technique

Make the most use of the time you spend on working

Think of a Pomodoro as a Unit of Time.  By setting your focus on working uninterrupted on a specific task for 25 minutes most people report that they can concentrate deeper and work more productively.  Below is a general guideline for how the Pomodoro Technique works.

1.  On your Pomodoro Planner (or in your agenda book) write down exactly what you need to do for the day.  Include homework, chores, phone calls, putting in retainers, everything that must be done.

2.  Figure out how much time you have in that particular day to devote to work and break it down into “Pomodoros” (units of 25 minutes) allowing for 5 minutes breaks per Pomodoro and 30 minutes breaks per every 4 Pomodoros.

3.  Estimate how many Pomodoros each item on the list should take (ex. Reading “x” pages should take 3 Pomodoros)




4.  If you have a few items on your list that will take less than one Pomodoro, combine them into one Pomodoro (call 2 people, clean up room)

5. Place a small square next to each item for each Pomodoro you estimate the task will take.

6.  Keep a separate piece of paper titled “To Do” by your work area to keep track of non-essential tasks.

7.  Begin the first item by setting the timer for 25 minutes.  During that time, any internal distractions that come up (“I want to check the score on the game”, “I want to text Taylor”) if they must be acted on today, write them on the Planner and return to work immediately.  If they can be done a different day, write them on the “To Do” sheet and RETURN TO WORK IMMEDIATELY.

8.  PROTECT THE POMODORO!  This is your time to focus.  Twenty – five minutes goes quickly.  Allow yourself to become immersed in your work.  When the timer goes off, put an “x” in the box.  Set the timer for a 5-minute break.  Walk around; make a call, daydream, do some pushups, whatever.  Then return to the next Pomodoro.  After 4 Pomodoros, take ½ hour break.

9.  If anyone interrupts you during this time, politely tell him or her that you will get back to him or her and tell him or her when you intend to get back to them.

10.  If a Pomodoro gets interrupted and you don’t return to your work, that Pomodoro doesn’t get counted.  THE NEXT POMODORO WILL GO BETTER.

Pomodoro Planner

List All Homework, Studying, Project work and Other Responsibilities

Consider how much time you have available today to spend on Obligations.  Break that time down to see how many Pomodoros you have available.  Include a 5 minute break after every 20-25 minutes of working and a 30 minute break after 3 sets of Pomodoros.  Place a square for each Pomodoro you estimate a task will take.  Check off as you complete a Pomodoro.

Pack it up – Turn it in!!!

Remember that you deserve credit for the work you have completed.


Written by Cindy Goldrich, Ed.M., ACAC © 2013 PTS Coaching. All rights reserved. Articles may be reproduced or electronically distributed as long as attribution to PTS Coaching is maintained.

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