February is Time Management month, and I want to share one of my favorite time management and focus techniques with you.  

It has been around forever, but it remains very effective.

Wondering what it is? 

The Pomodoro Technique. 

Have you heard about it?  Regardless, let me explain the technique and share the benefits and tips if you wish to implement this practice.  

How the Pomodoro Technique works.

It’s a really simple technique.  Simply: 

  • Decide on the task(s) you need to do.  It can be one large task or a bunch of smaller tasks.
  • Set a timer for 25 minutes.  Several apps are out there to help you with the process. 
  • Focus only on your task(s) until the timer is done.
  • Take a 5-minute break.  Congratulations, you have completed a Pomodoro. 
  • After 4 Pomodoros take a longer break.  Your longer break can be 15 or 30 minutes.  I usually like 30-minute breaks.  

The technique is flexible, but I recommend you start with this, get comfortable and then tweak it to fit your style.     

This technique is one of the first time management tools I ever used.  There have been periods where I stop using Pomodoro’s.  However, I’ve recently returned to this simple and effective technique as I need more frequent breaks and am having trouble staying focused for long periods.  The Pomodoro technique has been a perfect solution for me. 

Pomodoro’s are helping me stay focused and on track.  

Benefits of the Pomodoro Technique

At first, you might think the frequent breaks might be a problem.  Or you may struggle to see how this technique will help you. 

Once I explain the benefits, you might be inspired to try it. 

  • Less overwhelm:  breaking up your tasks into smaller pieces makes them seem less intimidating.  We often put off a big task because it’s hard to face, but if you know you only have to give the task 25 minutes, it seems easier to handle.  
  • Increases the quality and quantity of your work:  When you know you only have 25 minutes until the alarm goes off, it will surprise you how much you will get done.  One reason is that you stay focused and don’t wander off to check your email or change your Spotify playlist.  And because you are focused, the quality of your work increases.   
  • Reduces mental exhaustion: You create fatigue when you work without breaks for too long.  Want to work longer with good quality? Take frequent breaks.  The Pomodoro Technique provides a process for this.  Including a more extended break after two hours of consistent work. 
  • Reduce multitasking:  when you know the timer is ticking, you stay focused.  You don’t check your email or get distracted by something you remember.  You stay on task and work steadily.  I’ve written a blog on multi-tasking, and you can read it here; https://acuitypath.ca/blog/the-myth-of-multitasking

When I struggle to stay focused, I switch tasks often or get restless/fidgety.  I have found that the Pomodoro technique helps reduce task switching and allows me to focus on the task at hand.  

Tips for successfully implementing the Pomodoro Technique

When you first implement the technique, you might find it challenging to make it work for you or see the benefits.  However, keep at it because once you find your flow with the Pomodoro’s, you will see tremendous benefits and will be glad you stayed with it.   

Here are some tips to help out. 

  • Plan your Pomodoro’s.  Chunk small tasks together to create 25-minute intervals.  Or plan a more significant task (such as writing a blog) for which you will needPomodorosPomodoro’s. 
  • Turn off distractions.  Turn off email and social media notifications to help you focus during your Pomodoro’s. 
  • Reward yourself during breaks.  On long breaks, go for a walk, take a quick nap, or do something else that serves as a reward. 
  • Ideas for your 5-minute breaks:  bathroom break, grab a beverage, stretch, do some breathing, step outside for some sun, a quick chat with someone, or a chore.  Avoid screen time and do something that allows you to get up and move for 5 minutes. 
  • Use an app to manage your Pomodoro’s.  You can use a timer and a quick check mark system.  However, I prefer to use an app.  There are a lot of free apps out there.  Ones you can use on your phone or desktop and even ones that gamify the technique (grow digital trees using your Pomodoro’s with Forest).  Try them out and find the one that you love.  I like the ones on my phone because they stay with me regardless of what I’m doing or where.   

Once you are comfortable with your Pomodoro’s, feel free to tweak it. Even find ways to use the technique in other areas of your life.  Maybe use it when doing house cleaning.  Clean for 25 minutes, 5-minute break?  Or one Pomodoro for social media?  

Let me know if you use Pomodo’s today.  If you don’t, will you give it a try? 


Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.

Martin Luther King Jr.

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