Trying out the Pomodoro Technique

August 12, 2008

Lately I’ve been experimenting with the Pomodoro Technique to become more efficient at work. It’s basically a personal time management method according to which you work focused, without interruptions, for 25 minutes and then rest for 5. Repeat until it’s time to go home/drink beers/see a movie/all of the above.

Pomodoro means tomato in Italian

Pomodoro means tomato in Italian

Sounds too simple? It is, the technique has a lot more to it and you should reward your curiosity by reading the original paper on it by creator Francesco Cirillo [pdf]. However, for n00bs I really recommend reading the blog post “Pomodoro Technique in 5 minutes” by Staffan Nöteberg first. It’s a good way to get started within minutes and later on when you’re hungry for more tomatoes, read the 44 page PDF by Cirillo.

Before encountering the Pomodoro Technique I was playing around with the 48 Minute method, which means that you should work for 48 minutes, rest 12 and repeat. It did do something for me, but the 48 minute period is too long, it’s much easier to get interrupted during that interval.

Pomodoro has been treating me good so far and it has made me analyze my life a bit. It’s kind of stupid thinking that all these hip methods and techniques like Pomodoro, TDD and Continuous Integration will make you a better developer automatically. I tend to overlook the most important stuff, and many with me. Contemplate Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and get your

  • Eight hours of sleep.
  • Regular exercise.
  • Five meals a day.
  • Fresh air
  • etc
Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Created by J. Finkelstein and released under the GFDL license.

Yes, these are the basics and everyone knows about them, yet most of us overlook these simple needs. Without fulfilling them you really shouldn’t expect to be a brilliant developer. They will help you staying sharp and being able to tackle all the problems that people and code throw at you. It’ll make you healthier and happier in general too.

Apart from that, what are you waiting for? Read the Pomodoro Technique in 5 minutes and see if it makes you more effective and efficient at work. Now quit yer procrastinating and get outta here!

This post is released under the GFDL license, since I used a GFDL picture from Wikipedia in it. Kinda viral, huh? Not sure if I like it or not, but at least I got to use the picture.


5 Responses to “Trying out the Pomodoro Technique”

  1. Nice to see it’s working out for you. Remember where you heard it first! ;-)

  2. […] tried out the Pomodoro Technique and Staffan Nöteberg applied the technique in 5 minutes with instant results. Rick Osborne also […]

  3. Hello guys, take a look at Tomighty, a desktop timer for Pomodoro Technique users:


  4. […] are certain people that are made to work like machines. As a result, what helps them concentrate (5 minutes or rest after every 25 min of work for example) will never work for me, or others like me. So what will work for me and you (if you’re a […]

  5. Franco Says:

    I recommend this application:

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