The semester is coming to an end, and we all know what that means: Exam period. However, we also know the devilish word procrastination and tend to get distracted by anything, be it the smartphone or just the housefly that suddenly seems very interesting to us. This is exactly how Francesco Cirillo felt during his studies in the 1980s. Therefore, he took his kitchen clock in the shape of a tomato and set it to 25 minutes. He said to himself: If he now managed to work with concentration for 25 minutes, he could allow himself a break of 5 minutes without having a guilty conscience. And it worked. The Pomodro-Technique was invented, named after his kitchen clock, because Pomodoro is the Italian word for tomato.

But now step by step:

What exactly is the Pomodoro-technique?

The Pomodoro-technique is a productivity and time management method, based on small but efficient learning intervals, followed by short restful breaks. One Pomodoro, that is how an interval is called, consists of 25 minutes concentrated learning and 5 minutes break. After 4 Pomodori you take a longer break of 20 to 30 minutes before starting again.

Why is this simple technique so efficient?

First, the dividing of the tasks in small pieces makes it easier to get started. At the same time, the work is way more efficient if you focus on one task at a time and block out for the moment the other tasks you have ahead of you. The deadline increases this efficiency, which makes you focus on the essential points. And the best: The motivation is high, and the feeling of effort is low. The breaks feel like a reward, and you get new energy without a guilty conscience.

What do you need to perform the Pomodoro-Process?

  • A pen
  • A piece of paper
  • A clock or timer
  • Your learning material

How does the process work?

  • First step: Write down what you want to accomplish in the 25 minutes.
  • Second step: Set your timer to 25 minutes.
  • Third step: Work for exactly 25 minutes – concentrated and without distraction.
  • Fourth step: Take a break for 5 minutes and clear your mind.

Repeat 4 times and then do a longer break for 20 to 30 minutes.

If the 25 minutes seems too short and you want to work longer, you can also set an interval of, for example, 45 minutes of learning and 10 minutes break.

A normal timer is too boring for you? There are many videos on YouTube that accompany the Pomodoro-Process. For example, you can learn in a very relaxed way on the Hogwarts Express!