We've known for some time that working with timers can get help procrastinators jump past those imposing first steps. The Pomodoro Technique takes that further, offering a cyclical system aimed to beat deadline-related anxiety.
Francesco Cirillo crafted the Pomodoro Technique in 1992, as a personal system to get more studying done. He tweaked it a bit and now offers a book, available as a free PDF download or as a traditional bound purchase, that explains it a bit further. Cirillo, however, doesn't bury the basic strategy in his book, but offers it up freely:
- Choose a task to be accomplished
- Set the Pomodoro to 25 minutes (the Pomodoro is the timer)
- Work on the task until the Pomodoro rings, then put a check on your sheet of paper
- Take a short break (5 minutes is OK)
- Every 4 Pomodoros take a longer break
As you might imagine, it gets refined and explained a bit more in the book, and at the web site. Want to try it out, but lack a cute tomato-shaped timer? The free Focus Booster App is a Pomodoro-centered timer app, available as a free webapp or Adobe Air download, to help you time and manage your own "Pomodoros".
Been a fan of Cirillo's technique for some time already? Got your own system? Tell us about it in the comments.