Thirty years ago, college student Francesco Cirillo used a tomato-shaped kitchen timer to help improve his productivity.
Working for 25-minutes intervals with 5-minute breaks in between, he called it the Pomodoro Technique. Pomodoro translates to tomato in Italian.
The time-management method intends to help people focus on tackling projects uninterrupted, grouping pomodoros together to track their efforts.
I’ve used the Pomorodo Technique in the past as a placebo just to get me started on a blog post. There are plenty of apps out there like Focus Keeper to track your performance. But you can also buy a physical tomato timer on Amazon to recreate Cirillo’s original experience.
To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the system, Cirillo is also publishing the official The Pomodoro Technique book. Writes the creator:
“Time passes, slips away, moves toward the future. If we try to measure ourselves against the passage of time, we feel inadequate, oppressed, enslaved and defeated more and more with every second that goes by. We lose our élan vital, the life force that enables us to accomplish things.”
We may not be able to control time but the least we can do is try to take advantage of the time we have. As Jerry Seinfeld says, ‘don’t break the chain.’
You can find out more about Francesco Cirillo and the Pomodoro Technique on his website here.