Time Management Tips: Practice the Pomodoro Method

by Courtney Ramirez on March 23, 2012

Pomodoro TechniqueWhether you’re an independent contractor using shared office space to give your company a professional edge, or a startup CEO who is renting office space until your company hits the next big step, you need to manage your time well. We all have the same 24 hours per day, and it’s important to use yours wisely when you run a business. By boosting your productivity, you can accomplish important goals faster and reach your business objectives more quickly. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of ways to improve your time management and productivity, but one of the most popular and effective is the Pomodoro Technique.

With the Pomodoro Technique, you can take advantage of “chunking” your time and developing an intense focus on the task at hand. Most entrepreneurs have a million things running through their heads at once and find it difficult to focus long enough to be productive. By using Pomodoro it becomes possible to train your brain to get more focused and increase your productivity.

Francesco Cirillo created the Pomodoro technique in the 1980s. The technique is named after the Pomodoro Tomato timer that he used to chunk his time. The principle is simple. You start your time management by setting a timer for 25 minutes. For the next 25 minutes, you focus on one task and one task only. You avoid distraction during those 25 minutes. If you happen to finish your task before the 25 minutes are up, great! If not, when the timer goes off you take a five minute break and then reset the timer for 25 minutes. After every four “Pomodoros”, you take a longer break.

Simple right? In the case of the Pomodoro Technique, simplicity leads to productivity. Twenty-five minutes is a short enough amount of time for you to stay focused without getting distracted but long enough to make an impact in your task. Taking regular breaks will help your body and mind stay fresh and alert, so your productivity will stay high, but having a timer on your break also prevents you from getting too distracted.

When you practice the Pomodoro Technique, you’ll find that time management will become easier and easier. Like anything, time management is a practice. Your productivity will increase as you rely on this time management technique.

If you’re ready to put the Pomodoro Technique to use in your business, here are three helpful tools:

The Official Pomodoro Technique Site – This is where it all started. You can get your own physical Pomodoro Technique timer, a book on how to put the system to work for you and a course.

Strict Pomodoro – This plugin for the Chrome Web Browser will count off 25 minutes with no stopping. It’s a convenient way to stay focused from right inside of your browser and will block distracting sites (like YouTube.com) until you’re on a break.

Focus Booster – This downloadable program helps you stay focused and can be set up with a variety of sound and display options.

No matter what Pomodoro tool you choose, be sure to try out this method to increase your productivity and improve time management.


Courtney Ramirez
Research Analyst, Pacific Business Centers
Courtney’s research for Pacific Business Centers focuses on tracking emerging business trends and best practices – with an emphasis on how they affect business operations, technology, and the future of work trends.

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