Pomodoro Technique: Ultimate Guide With Examples, Tools, and Tips

Pomodoro technique helped millions of people to become more productive and improve their time management skills.

In this article, we’ll share in detail how to use the Pomodoro method to improve your productivity and focus. 

We’ll also offer some scientific explanation about what makes Pomodoro technique so effective and show you advanced hints that will help you get the most out of your Pomodoro sessions.

Lastly, we’ll share the best Pomodoro tools and software that allow you to use Pomodoro technique in the most comfortable and effective way. 

Let’s dive in!

Table Of Contents:

What Is Pomodoro Technique?

Pomodoro is a widely popular time management technique developed in the early 1990s by Francesco Cirillo, a software designer who struggled to focus during his studies. Francesco would use a tomato-shaped kitchen timer and challenged himself to concentrate on a task without any distractions for up to 25 minutes. 

Later Francesco wrote a book that describes Pomodoro technique in detail. Since then Pomodoro helped millions of people to become more productive without extra stress. 

Here are the main benefits of Pomodoro technique:

  • Improved focus and concentration on tasks
  • Reduced stress
  • More effective distractions management
  • Enhanced daily motivation
  • Better time-tracking and time-control habits

Even though the Pomodoro method is incredibly simple, every detail matters when it comes to correct execution of the technique. 

Here’s a 5-step guide on how to use the Pomodoro technique:

  1. Choose a task that you want to complete. It’s recommended to pick goals with specific criteria of completion. [more on that in our Hints section]
  2. Set a timer for 25 minutes using anything you like: a kitchen timer, a mobile phone, or an online pomodoro app. [more on pomodoro apps in our Apps section]
  3. Work on your task until the timer rings
  4. After you complete one Pomodoro, take a short 5-minute break and don’t do anything work-related during this period. 
  5. After you complete 4 Pomodoros, take a longer break of 15 to 30 minutes and turn off from your work completely, letting the new information assimilate on its own. Then you can repeat the Pomodoro cycle. 

When properly used, Pomodoro technique allows you to concentrate on any task for longer, eliminate burnout, effectively manage distractions, and ultimately enjoy a better work-life balance. 

But why exactly is such a simple technique so powerful? 

Let’s ask the science. 

Why Does Pomodoro Technique Work?

There are three main reasons why Pomodoro technique is effective:

Pomodoro changes how you perceive time.

Your perception of time has a huge impact on your stress levels. When we treat time as something that we constantly need more of, the “I’m always out of time” becomes our default mode. Unfortunately, running out of time puts us into an ever-stressful mode which negatively affects our productivity and focus.

Pomodoro teaches us to see time as both a succession of events and means to achieving our goals, which in turn leads to lower stress and improved concentration. 

Short breaks improve our attention span.

The study conducted at the University of Illinois demonstrated that the human mind tends to zone out quicker when we’re working consistently on the same project. In order words, short breaks allow us to switch between working modes and thus keep our attention high for longer periods.

That’s why 5-minute breaks in Pomodoro technique are as effective as working sessions.

Pomodoro helps you streamline decisions.

Research shows that having to make too many decisions leads to willpower fatigue and skewed judgment. But our willpower is instrumental every time we have to choose between working on a task or watching Youtube. 

Pomodoro technique is designed to help you avoid unnecessary distractions and at the same time focus all your attention on one main task, helping to keep your willpower levels in check.

Advanced Hints To Make The Most Out of Pomodoro Sessions

The following life hacks will help you make your Pomodoro sessions even more productive. 

Set specific, S.M.A.R.T goals.

Although your Pomodoro goals can be either big or small, it’s important to keep them specific.

Achieving goals keeps your motivation high, whereas goal-based tracking will help you to manage your time more effectively.

Play around with time.

YourPomodoro sessions don’t have to be precisely 25 minutes. Most people can focus on a single task for an average of 15 to 40 minutes, so feel free to adapt the technique to your needs.

There are cases where users had 7-minute sessions or 1.5-hour sessions; just don’t forget to adjust your breaks accordingly. Longer session – longer break, shorter – short.

Try Pomodoro with background music.

Some people focus better with background music, and there are those that prefer complete silence. Services such as Brain.fm or Spotify offer playlists that might help you find a better focus during your sessions.

You might even create your own Pomodoro playlists of a defined length and work as long as the music plays.

Provide sound and visual clues.

The structure of Pomodoro makes it easy to turn Pomodoro sessions into a habit. And our habits rely heavily on clues and triggers.

Make sure you instantly know when the Pomodoro session starts and ends by either using a physical timer that dings and clicks, or an online app with thought-out notifications.

Track your Pomodoro sessions.

Tracking how many Pomodoro sessions you complete within a day or any given time period is a great way to keep yourself accountable and analyze your overall performance.

The majority of Pomodoro apps provide a built-in tracking system, but if you prefer to use a kitchen timer a good-old notepad and pen are just as good. 

Integrate Pomodoro into your workflow.

To make the most out of Pomodoro technique you need to integrate Pomodoro in your daily workflow.

To help teams achieve that, Geekbot developed Focus Mode.

The tool allows you to launch and track Pomodoro sessions directly in Slack and automatically turn “Do Not Disturb” mode on during sessions so that you could avoid any distractions without having to shut down from your team completely.

Note: See our article that elaborates in much greater detail on how to use Focus mode.

5 Best Pomodoro Apps For Every Style of Work

  • Pomodoro in Slack: Geekbot focus mode let’s you track pomodoro sessions directly in Slack and automatically turn DnD mode “ON” to avoid any distractions during your work.
  • Pomodoro in Chrome: Marinara extension lets you track pomodoros directly in your browser. A great option for people who work online a lot. 
  • Pomodoro online: Pomofocus is an easy online Pomodoro tracker with features like task estimation and reporting. 
  • Pomodoro desktop: Tomighty is a simple and free desktop Pomodoro timer for Mac and Windows with nothing fancy or redundant about it.
  • Pomodoro for mobile: Brain Focus for Android and Be Focused for iOS are both free and easy-to-use pomodoro apps if you prefer to use a phone to track your sessions. 

We hope that this guide helped you learn what makes Pomodoro technique so useful and how you can use the method to enhance your personal productivity.

In case you want to dramatically improve your team productivity and get rid of dozens of unnecessary meetings, meet Geekbot. 

Geekbot helped thousands of remote teams such as Gitlab, Github, Shopify, Zapier and more to become more productive, aligned, and happy. Try Geekbot for 30 days for free and become our next success story!

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