Pomodoro Technique

1st October 2021

The welcome in All Stitched Up! issue #291 unpacked the idea of the 15 Minute Rule that encourages us to set a timer for 15 minutes and tackle a task that will ensure we make progress in a direction that’s important to us. Whilst we recognised that most tasks wouldn’t be complete in this time, we knew that we’d be closer to our end goal than we were before we set the timer.

Since penning these words, we’ve come across a similar time management strategy that, like the 15 Minute Rule, focuses on short sprints of focused work. However, this strategy works with slightly longer increments of time that are spaced out by short breaks to ensure we take the time to recharge throughout the task before us.

Image courtesy of tomatotimers.com

Devised by Francesco Cirillo, The Pomodoro Technique consists of six steps:

  1. Choose a Task You’d Like to Get Done. 
  2. Set a Timer for 25 Minutes.
  3. Work on the Task Until the Timer Rings.
  4. Record Your Progress.
  5. Take a Short Break.
  6. After Every Four Pomodoro’s, Take a Longer Break.

The steps, though deceptively simple, will absolutely work if we choose a task that will benefit from our full attention, focus entirely on the task at hand during each 25 minute interval, take a moment between Pomodoros to reflect on what we’ve achieved, use our short breaks to refresh our minds by doing something relaxing and then, after completing a series of four Pomodoros, take a 30 minute break that will allow our brains to assimilate new information and rest before we begin the cycle again.

We love that this idea takes the 15 Minute Rule a step further by ensuring we take the time to not only recognise the progress we’re making, but also reminds us to take a break from the task before us that will ensure we’re able to focus for longer periods of time, ultimately ensuring we achieve more.

How long will it be before we start measuring our projects with needle and thread in Pomodoros?!

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