The Pomodoro Technique is a time management technique developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. The technique uses a timer to break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks. Francesco Cirillo has been connected with the software industry for more than two decades. His career spans into startups, multinationals and freelance consulting, he has mentored thousands of software developers and software teams. Francesco believes in always improving productivity and efficiency, by finding ways to achieve better results with less time and less effort. The ‘Pomodoro Technique’ has become today a renowned time-management tool. It is prominently used by software developers all over the world. Traditional Pomodoro method timer is set with standard time periods. Each Pomodoro is a 25-minute cycle followed by a 5-minute break.
The Pomodoro Technique is not like any other time-management methods used in markets. What makes it so unique? WORK WITH TIME – NOT AGAINST IT. Most of us get so used to procrastination that time becomes our enemy. We always race against the clock to finish assignments and meet deadlines. The Pomodoro Technique teaches us to work with time, instead of struggling against it. It is truly revolutionary. Once you start using it, you will realize that it simple to learn and very effective. Cirillo named the system “Pomodoro” because he used a tomato-shaped timer to track his work as a university student. Tomatoes are called pomodoro in Italian language. The methodology is simple: When faced with any large task or series of tasks, it is better to break the work down into short – timed intervals which can be spaced out by short breaks.
Some recent studies have shown that people who take some sort of diversion or distraction such as listening to some music, or watching news, reading something, or chatting with colleagues after intervals of half an hour or an hour feel and perform better than those who just keep working without a break. What happens when we work without break – our brains numb out a bit to the constant stimulation, and we become unable to continuously treat the its required importance. Taking a break allows us to come back to the job at hand with renewed energy and sense of purpose.
Organizations which respect employee’s mental and physical strengths overlook the cost factor of the regular breaks because they realize those breaks improve employee effectiveness, satisfaction which reduces strain and fatigue. Cutting off from work can refresh people’s energy and mind-set. A break can serve as creative fuel. We cannot keep creating when our brain goes empty. Something as simple as a ten minute conversation with a friend, or watching an inspiring video can give us a much needed boost. Little bit of physical movement such as walking few steps or climbing few steps, going to the canteen or bosses’ chamber keeps us from being mentally stagnant.
For many of us, after lunch break our energies slump. It’s better to take a walk to a nearby mall or garden or some shop whatever is outside your work place. Studies have shown that moderate level of cardio activity can boost creativity and productivity for two hours afterward. Plus, the change of scene and focus may just be the shift you need for your next breakthrough at work. One of the best things about the Pomodoro Technique is that it’s free. Instead of 25 minutes breaks you may opt for hourly breaks, half hourly breaks. If you need a systematic way to tackle your daily to-do list, the Pomodoro Technique is the best. Try it! Treat yourself well.