The Pomodoro Technique: 6 steps to get things done

2 min read
The pomodoro technique

A timed productivity technique, with juicy breaks

Developed by Francesco Cirillo, who used a tomato-shaped timer at university and named the technique “Pomodoro” after it. It may seem funny at first, but many people believe in the Pomodoro Technique and the power it brings in changing how we work.

What is the Pomodoro technique?

The Pomodoro technique is all about working for 25 minutes and taking a break for 5 minutes.

This unique time management technique asks you to alternate tomato-focused work sessions with short but frequent breaks to encourage consistent concentration and avoid mental strain.

The main advantage of the Pomodoro technique is that it takes into consideration our need for breaks, perfectly balancing productivity with counter-productivity.

How does it work?

Its biggest strength lies in its simplicity. First of all, you should have your task list ready. After that, the journey begins.

1: Choose the task that you want to get done. It can be anything from a series of small tasks to one massive task.

2: Set the timer to 25 minutes No, you don’t need a tomato timer for this; a normal one or your phone will do just fine.

3: Work on the chosen task until the timer goes off. This means no looking at your phone, daydreaming, or staring off into space, but intensely working on finishing off a part of your task. Once the 25 minutes have passed, markdown a Pomodoro and keep a record of what you accomplished.

4: Take a 5-minute break now. Repeat the whole process until you complete four pomodoros.

5: After completing four pomodoros, here’s a gift for you, enjoy a more extended 15-30 minute break. Hurrah!

Repeat this again. And again. And again, until you complete your tasks, and can call it a day!

Akiflow Hacks: Organize slots on your Akiflow calendar and start the timer following every single step of the pomodoro technique. If you like you can also use the pomodoro for time blocking.

Pomodo timer

How to get the most out of each Pomodoro

Start by breaking down the projects that you think will take the most time. If a task requires more than one entire cycle of tomatoes, it may need to be broken down into smaller steps.

You’re likely to come across small tasks. Well, all tasks that do not take much time should be combined with other similar tasks.

Don’t forget that a Pomodoro can’t be stopped. It’s an indivisible unit of time and can’t be interrupted, so avoid checking emails, Slack, or WhatsApp. Everything that comes up in the meantime should be noted down to come back later.

Now, Cirillo is mindful of the distractions that will happen because of the untimely calls, invites, etc. This is why he has some suggestions on how to deal with such distractions too. If your coworker wants to go out for some martinis on a Tuesday evening, do this:

  1. Inform. Tell them you’re busy working on something.
  2. Negotiate. Fix a time when you’ll be able to get back to them on it.
  3. Schedule. Schedule it immediately!
  4. Callback. Call them back when you’re done, and keep your word!

The Pomodoro technique is one of the most popular techniques to date and one of my personal favorites because of its flexibility. Moreover, it teaches us to race with time rather than against it.

How can Pomodoro help me?

The Pomodoro technique is for everyone, especially the ones who like to postpone. It is for when you have so much to do, and you don’t feel like doing anything because you’re overwhelmed. In that case, the Pomodoro helps you start with bite-sized pieces to complete the entire meal.

People who are easily distracted also greatly benefit from the Pomodoro because it is 25 minutes of intense focus and concentration. Working with breaks gives helps you making sure that you don’t burn out by the end of the day.

Here’s a list of the best Pomodoro apps to try to start improving your time-management ability:

Focus To-Do: Pomodoro Timer & To-Do List

Marinara Timer


Focus Booster

Focus keeper


Choose the one that best fits your needs.