Time Management – The Pomodoro Technique®

If you find that your productivity varies from day to day. Some days you get lots done and others you struggle to get through all of your tasks then this little technique can help.

We often think that long hours and days packed full of tasks leads to higher productivity, but research from the University of Illinois in 2008 suggests otherwise. The study shows that being stuck at your desk and ploughing through tasks actually makes you less productive. Not only that it can also have an adverse impact on your health.

Taking regular short breaks though actually increases productivity.

The Pomodoro Technique, developed Francesco Cirillo in the 1980’s and shown in his book ‘The Pomodoro Technique‘ suggests that you break your tasks down into 25 minute sessions known as ‘A Pomodoro‘. Each session is then followed by a short break.

The name Pomodoro was taken from the tomato shaped kitchen timer that Cirillo used to manage his time at University.

As we mentioned before, the technique suggests you break your tasks down into 25 minute sessions, then take a quick 5 minute break after each before starting on your next task. After completing 4 tasks like this, take a longer break (such as your scheduled break or lunch) to fully rest.

This might seem counter-productive, but the research suggests that this approach means you are much more focused and therefore productive.

Here’s some tips to help with this tool:

Break up your tasks – take a look at your task list and break the tasks down into 25 minute sessions. You may want to experiment with times but 25 minutes is the recommendation.

Use a Timer – Set some form of timer to ensure you stick to your allocated time

Take Breaks – Be disciplined and take the breaks between tasks

Work on one task – When you break your tasks down, only work on one task in your allocated time


To find out more about using this and other time management techniques, take a look at our time management training courses. We’ve got them schedules all across the UK. You can learn more about our Time Management Training Courses here.