29 Apr

What’s A “Pomodoro” And What Difference Can It Make?

Sometimes when I’m coaching, I learn something new from my clients. This happened recently when one of my clients referred to a “pomodoro”.

“Pomodoro” means tomato in Italian but she wasn’t talking about food or her garden. My client was referring to “pomodoro” as a time management tool.

Who knew? Not me!

Pomodoro (tomato) technique is a study method that helps avoiding procrastination using a kitchen timer

Pomodoro (tomato) technique is a study method that helps avoiding procrastination using a kitchen timer

The Pomodoro Technique is to break down work or a task into intervals of 25 minutes each followed by a 5-minute break. The intervals are called “Pomodoros”.

In checking the Internet, I learned that the Pomodoro Technique was developed by Franceso Cirillo in the 1980s. Cirillo called the Pomodoro after the tomato-shaped kitchen timer he used in University.  The theory is that frequent breaks can improve mental agility.

Improved mental agility perhaps but…what I’ve discovered is that a Pomodoro helps me tackle an unpleasant task or job I keep procrastinating on.

I tell myself “O.K. I don’t feel like doing the job right now but surely I can do it for 20 minutes”. (not quite the 25 of Cirillo’s Pomodoro but, for me, 20 minutes sounds easier that 25).

All to say, I’ve found I can get a lot of dusting done in a 20-minute Pomodoro.

I’ve split my strength-training exercise into 20-minute Pomodoros four days a week rather than two 40-minute sessions.

My office can be tidied in a Pomodoro and you’d be surprised how much can be accomplished in a de-cluttering Pomodoro.

Besides, doesn’t calling it a “dusting Pomodoro” sound more inviting than saying “I need to dust”?

Now your turn…

What job have you been avoiding that you can chunk down into Pomodoros?

What task can you turn into a “Pomodoro”?

Happy Pomodoro-ing!