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Improve your productivity with the Pomodoro focus technique 8 min read
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Productivity is often at the core of people’s lives and many of us strive toward getting more work done. We’re always looking for new ways to move closer to our goals. However, while goals may vary between individuals or organizations, the constant grapple with productivity is a universal struggle. To be productive, you need to be able to control your mind and focus on the task at hand. With today’s ceaseless distractions of social media and the constant access to external contact, concentration isn’t always easy to hang on to.

According to medical research regarding ADHD trends conducted in 2018, the prevalence of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder) has significantly increased over the last 20 years. While it’s not possible to blame this overall increase on social media distractions and technology, researchers at Harvard report that frequent digital media use did translate to a higher risk of presenting ADHD symptoms.

If you’ve ever toyed with social media while you’re supposed to be working, you probably know how it affects your ability to focus. We start off by thinking we’re just going to look at a few pictures or short clips only to emerge 45 minutes later and wonder how control slipped away. Fortunately, this widespread concentration problem has a solution — using a focus technique. Let’s explore the Pomodoro technique, what it is, and how you can use it to improve your productivity and time management.

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What is the Pomodoro focus technique?

Named after the Italian word for “tomato,” the Pomodoro technique is a time management strategy for improving productivity. It was invented in the late 1980s by Francesco Cirillo, who named it after the tomato-shaped kitchen timer that he used when tracking his own work sessions. The basic premise of the Pomodoro technique is to break work down into short, focused bursts of activity separated by brief breaks. Each work session is about 25 minutes long, followed by short 5-minute breaks. After four 25-minute work sessions, a longer break of 15-20 minutes is taken.

Cirillo found that this cycle helped him to stay focused and avoid burnout. The Pomodoro technique has since been adapted for use in a variety of different settings, including project management, education, and software development. While it’s not suitable for every task, the Pomodoro technique can be an effective way to increase productivity and avoid procrastination.

Cirillo wrote that he “discovered that you could learn how to improve your effectiveness and be better able to estimate how long a task will take to complete by recording how you utilize your time.”

How to use the Pomodoro technique?

Perhaps one of the most attractive aspects of this particular focus technique is its simplicity. You don’t need an extra notebook or ruler to make productivity columns — you simply need your work and a timer.

Each 25-minute session is a “tomato” of pure concentration and should be viewed as an unbreakable whole.

Here’s a quick step-by-step guide to using the Pomodoro technique:

  1. Choose a task to work on.
  2. Decide how long your Pomodoro sessions will be (usually 25 minutes).
  3. Turn off notifications on your phone and remove all distractions from your environment.
  4. Set your timer and get to work.
  5. Once the timer is up, take a short break of 5 minutes.
  6. Repeat the whole process.
  7. After four Pomodoro sessions, take a longer break of 15 to 20 minutes.

As described by Cirillo, the creator of this technique, “A Pomodoro can’t be interrupted; it marks 25 minutes of pure work. A Pomodoro can’t be split up; there is no such thing as half a Pomodoro.” The 25-minute sessions are based on evidence that your concentration starts to decline after 10 to 15-minutes. However, if we took breaks every 15 minutes, we might never get anything done. This method preserves concentration by preventing you from pushing too hard for long periods of time.

You can easily track the time you spend on tasks with Our time-tracking column shows you how much time you’re allocating to specific tasks. Simply start the timer when you begin working and stop it when you finish. This feature is a great way to integrate your Pomodoro practice with specific work on important tasks.

What to do if distracting thoughts arise

Everyone deals with distracting thoughts and some may find them more difficult to cast out than others. Furthermore, not all distracting thoughts are created equal and some may have a real significance behind them. For this reason, they can be difficult to simply push into the back of your mind. That’s why this technique encourages you to:

  1. Write down the distracting thought so it doesn’t keep intruding.
  2. Keep on working.
  3. At the end of the day, deal with all of the thoughts you wrote down.

This practice will help you to compartmentalize your work mindset from your “dealing with personal problems” mindset. You’ll still be able to deal with your problems, they just won’t be able to interfere with your workflow.

Does the Pomodoro technique really work?

Not only do millions of people around the world anecdotally report that this technique works for them but it’s also been investigated in scientific settings. In 2016, a study testing the Pomodoro technique’s ability to improve concentration in software developers showed significant increases in their productivity. This resulted from a reduced number of distractions while working on important tasks. Other research using the Pomodoro focus technique to help undergraduate students conquer technology-based multi-tasking also showed positive results.

Benefits of the Pomodoro technique

The Pomodoro technique has been shown to be an effective way of increasing productivity and avoiding burnout. It can also help to reduce task-related anxiety and increase focus and concentration. It trains our brains to focus on a task with unbroken concentration for short periods of time. By taking regular short breaks, we prevent our brains from becoming exhausted and increase our ability to focus more effectively. After practicing this technique for some time, you’ll train your brain to ignore the tug of social media and to fully pay attention to the task at hand.

Once you start working like this, you’ll notice that you’re getting more work done during the day, spending less time procrastinating, and moving closer to your goals and objectives. When whole teams apply this method, organizations can benefit from the compound effect of each individual’s increased productivity. Project objectives are met with greater ease and team members feel empowered by their ability to focus using the Pomodoro technique.

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Time management on is a powerful Work OS that can help you improve your time management skills. One of the most useful features is our built-in task timer. You can easily use this as your defacto Pomodoro timer. It helps you break down work into manageable chunks and take regular breaks in between. This can help to prevent burnout and ensure that you are staying focused.

Additionally, allows you to create customizable workflows. This means that you can organize work in a way that makes sense for you, and easily track your progress. This can be a great way to enhance your productivity and get more done in less time. also lets you collaborate with others on projects. This can be a great way to get feedback and input from others and make sure everyone is on the same page. By using our feature-packed cloud-based workspace, you can start improving your time management skills and get more done each day.

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Combating distractions one Pomodoro at a time

With entertainment and personal connection being so readily available in the modern day, fear of missing out (FoMO) can cause people to get lost in distractions. While most people wish they could conquer their minds and train their brains to focus, poor concentration is a widespread struggle. Luckily, there’s a scientifically proven method of improving your concentration — the Pomodoro method by Francesco Cirillo. You can integrate’s many features into your Pomodoro practice. From our built-in timer and prioritization matrices to our time-tracking column, our platform has everything you’ll need to dress up your Pomodoro practice.

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