Have you heard of this tomato-based productivity hack?

River D'Almeida, Ph.D
3 min readJan 29, 2024

Prevent burnout and maintain concentration.

Photo by Immo Wegmann on Unsplash

In today’s digital age, with constant notifications and a plethora of online distractions, it’s incredibly easy to get sidetracked at work.

A time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s could help you make progress without the attention-grabbing lures that surround you.

The Pomodoro Technique is designed to help people improve their productivity and focus by breaking work into short, focused intervals, typically 25 minutes in length, followed by a short break.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Choose a task: Decide on the task you want to work on.
  2. Set a timer: Set a timer for 25 minutes (this is called a “Pomodoro”).
  3. Work on the task: Focus solely on the chosen task for the entire 25-minute interval. Avoid distractions and interruptions as much as possible.
  4. Take a short break: Once the 25 minutes are up, take a 5-minute break to relax and recharge. You can use this time to stretch, grab a snack, or do something enjoyable.
  5. Repeat: After the break, go back to step 1 and start another Pomodoro. Keep repeating this cycle.
  6. After completing 4 Pomodoros (approximately two hours of work), take a longer break of 15–30 minutes.

The Pomodoro Technique encourages you to work with intensity during the focused intervals and provides regular breaks to prevent burnout and maintain your concentration. It’s based on the idea that short, concentrated bursts of work are often more productive than long, unfocused periods of work.

The name “Pomodoro” is Italian for “tomato,” and it was inspired by the tomato-shaped kitchen timer that Cirillo used when he first developed the technique. While the original Pomodoro Technique used physical timers, many people now use digital timers or apps to implement the method in their daily work routines.

The Pomodoro Technique can be effectively applied in various tech and office settings to enhance productivity. For software developers, it can be used to break down complex coding tasks into manageable segments, allowing for focused coding…

--

--

River D'Almeida, Ph.D

Follow me for bite-sized stories on the latest discoveries and innovations in biomedical research.