Do You Pomodorize?

Over lunch on Thursday, Leandra Campbell said to me: I use the Pomodoro Technique.

Leandra has worked in my firm for two years now. I had never heard her speak of the Pomodoro Technique. I was intrigued. Leandra explained:

In the Pomodoro Technique, you work in 25-minute intervals. These intervals are called pomodori. After one pomodori, you take a 5-minute break. After 4 pomodori, you give yourself a longer break of 15-30 minutes.

The technique, I found out, was developed by the Italian Francesco Cirillo. “Pomodori” is the plural of the Italian word for tomato. The “pomodoro” in the Pomodoro Technique refers to the tomato-shaped kitchen timer Cirillo used when he was a university student.

The more I listened to Leandra, the more I thought to myself, WOW, there are some wonderful principles at work here. They make a lot of sense.

 Here are 4 pomodoro-behaviors that will support your daily effectiveness:

  1. I use time consciously. By dividing my work time into manageable chunks, I set myself up to be successful in accomplishing my tasks. And by making these chunks shorter than the traditional 1-hour chunk, I heighten focus and minimize the urge to distract.

  2. I keep track of my use of time. By keeping a timer running as I work, I stay mindful of the passing of time. And by maintaining a written log of my pomodori, I remember how I spend my time and the choices I make within that time. I encourage constant recalibration.

  3. I generate flow. By working in manageable chunks, I make it easier for myself to fully surrender to a task. This full surrender supports a sense of complete engagement. It leads to flow, the ultimate work-joy experience.

  4. I rejuvenate myself. By incorporating frequent pomodori breaks, I prevent mental and physical fatigue. I consistently re-energize myself.

These behaviors DO make a heck of a lot of sense, don’t they?

This week, turn the 4 pomodoro behaviors into questions that you ask yourself:

How do I use my time? How do I keep track of my use of time? How do I generate flow? How do I rejuvenate?

You may discover that you are already a pomodorizer. Great. Keep doing what you’re doing.

You may also discover ways of pomodorizing a little more. Great, as well. Go and experiment. You have just enhanced your personal work-focus and energy.