The simplest, most effective productivity method explained
When it comes to productivity, few methods are as simple or effective as the Pomodoro Technique. Never heard of it? Never fear. The name for the technique comes from the word pomodoro, which is Italian for tomato.
When Francesco Cirillo developed the technique in the 80s, he thought the 25-minute intervals set by a standard tomato-shaped kitchen timer were perfect for productivity.
The way the method works is simple. Set a timer for 25 minutes and focus all of your attention on a single task. After those 25 minutes are up, take a 5 minute break before setting another 25 minute timer.
After two 25 minute segments, or “Poms,” take a 10 minute break. Set another 25 minute timer, take a 5 minute break, rinse and repeat.
Now that it’s 2019, few people actually use kitchen timers anymore. Here are some of our favorite online Pomodoro timers to help you make the most of your working sessions.
1. Tomato Timer
Tomato Timer is the simplest, most straightforward implementation of the Pomodoro Timer on the web. There are three main buttons: start, stop, and reset, although you can learn keyboard shortcuts if you really want to optimize productivity. There is no sign-up requirement, and Tomato Timer is completely free.
You can even go into the settings menu to customize your experience farther, setting custom times for each Pom, your short breaks, and your long breaks. You can set daily goals, adjust the alert sound when the timer goes off, and much more. For those that rely on the Pomodoro Technique for getting things done, Tomato Timer is the best option.
2. Pomodoro Tracker
Like Tomato Timer, Pomodoro Tracker is completely free. It can be used without creating an account, although signing up does give added benefits and stat tracking. Pomodoro Tracker lets you set a to-do list and track work by individual category. It also tracks how many Poms you have done automatically.
Below the timer is a sliding display of tips and tricks for better efficiency in using the Pomodoro Technique, as well as the basics of how the method works.
3. Marinara Timer
Marinara Timer is the most simplified version of a Pomodoro Timer imaginable. It allows you to set a customer timer, but the site consists of nothing more than a huge display of numbers, with a pause and restart button underneath.
Below the timer, the site tracks the start and stop time of each of your sessions. It’s simple, straightforward, and perhaps the best bet for beginners.
After a few times using it, the Pomodoro Technique will become second-nature. Until then, here are a few tips to keep in mind.
- Work in intervals. 25 minutes is the default, but 30 minute and 15 minute sessions are fine. Whatever works for you.
- Take a break. After your first 25 minutes, take a 5 minute break. After two sessions, take a 10 minute break. Stand up, walk around, and get your blood pumping.
- Focus only on the task at hand. Unless it’s an emergency, save any other tasks for your breaks in between Pomodoro sessions. Use the time you’ve set aside to focus on your most important tasks.