The Pomodoro Technique™ was created by Francesco Cirillo in 1980s after a long search to improve his own study habits. While attending college in Rome, he had a difficult time staying focused and concentrating on his work. He grabbed the familiar kitchen timer in the shape of a tomato (a pomodoro in Italian) and used it to set short term deadlines for himself. Essentially, he would set the timer and work without interruption until it went off.
The Pomodoro Technique™ is deeper than just setting a timer and going to work. The whole purpose is to change your mindset about time and work. It’s not just a silly idea,
but it’s synthesis of concepts proposed by Steve McConnell, Tony Buzan, Hans-George Gademer and Tony Gilb in a variety of areas and disciplines.
It’s built around three basic assumptions:
First, that you will come to see time differently. It’s not the enemy. By changing your view of time from “becoming” (the abstract, dimensional use of time), you eliminate the
anxiety associated with working under a deadline.
Second, that better use of the mind results in a higher level of consciousness, clarity of thought, and more effective learning.
Finally, that using simple tool like a timer reduces the complexity of applying the technique and makes it more effective and efficient.
You might think that it would be difficult to apply this in your own office, as it calls for working uninterrupted in 25 minute cycles. There are, however, ways to interrupt and to
keep track of those interruptions. And now — during the Summer when students are fewer and farther between — it might be a useful method of getting through that endless “To-Do” list we all face.