Pomodoro Technique: Does It Work?

It feels like running after time is this century’s dilemma, and being surrounded by distractions doesn’t help with the attention spans at all.
A few hours into work, you’ll get busy replying to that email, scrolling through social media, or chatting to a friend. By the end of the day, it looks like you wasted a huge chunk of time with minimal results.
However, many nifty time management tools seem like promising solutions, and the Pomodoro Technique comes high on the list.
Let’s see what Pomodoro is all about and if it’s the right fit for you.

What Is the Pomodoro Technique?

Thanks to Francesco Cirillo’s desire to focus on studying, the concept of the Pomodoro came into popularity.
To put it simply, the Pomodoro Technique is a method that helps people make the most use of their time. It’s all based on chopping up larger tasks into productivity sprouts of 25 minutes at a time.
In theory, this should help you avoid getting burned out. It also eliminates that false sense of security of having all day to finish a small task.

How Can You Use the Pomodoro Technique?

The beauty of the Pomodoro Technique lies in its simplicity. While you could get a mobile application or a physical Pomodoro stopwatch, any kitchen timer will do just fine.
Before getting to the steps, familiarize yourself with three main intervals. The work interval of 25 minutes, the short 5-minute break, and a longer rest ranging from 15 to 30 minutes.
All in all, your typical eight-hour workday could take about 16 Pomodoros in total.
Here’s how:
  1. Chop up your to-do checklist into small tasks.
  2. Start your timer at 25 minutes and focus completely on the task at hand.
  3. Unwind for 5 minutes before jumping into the next interval.
  4. After four Pomodors and three short breaks, take one long rest.
  5. Repeat as needed till you’re done with your workload for the day.

Pros of the Pomodoro Technique: Why Would It work?

The Pomodoro Technique can work wonders in boosting productivity while helping you make sense of time.
It all sounds fantastic, but have you considered the logic behind it? Why does it work so well for some people?
Let’s take a closer look:

Lays Out a Clear Time Plan

Usually, tracking time can be hard when you’re working without a set layout. However, the Pomodoro Technique is a good way to plan how you should spend your time ideally.
It basically makes it much easier to spot all the little trinkets you might be wasting your day on unconsciously.
With that in mind, you’ll no longer wonder where the time went by. In this case, you can explain your workday in terms of Pomodoros.

Keeps Procrastination at Bay

Most people resort to procrastination when the workload is overwhelming. In particular, gigantic tasks can be intimidating and hard to tackle.
However, when you cut these tasks into small ones you can do in 25 minutes, it becomes much easier to get them over. This will make the whole thing seem less daunting and even encourage you to move on to the remaining portions.

Helps You Stay Focused

With all the interruptions around, it’s easy to lose focus and get sucked in, especially if you already get distracted easily.
For adults with ADHD, going by the Pomodoro can help create spouts of productivity while blocking distractions. This is mainly because you know that you have a break coming up soon, so you push through the focus session.

Makes Work More Fun

Aside from the regular productivity boost, you can also benefit from the “game” aspect of the Pomodoro Technique.
You might have already noticed that the desire to maintain a streak can entice you to keep your progress lasting longer. This applies to the workplace just as much as it does to video games.
According to Tom Chatfield, turning your tasks into a game can break the cycle of routine that usually makes work bleak.

Cons of the Pomodoro Technique: Why Would It Not Work?

While the whole notion of the Pomodoro Technique sounds very promising, it still doesn’t work out well for everyone.
After all, the method has a few downsides to consider:

Can Seem Too Rigid

Sometimes you’ll find that certain meetings, tasks, and events need more than 25 minutes to be done. Since not all workload types will fit into a typical Pomodoro, it can make the method seem a tad bit inflexible.
Yet, it’s still possible to customize your Pomodoro interval to work with your lifestyle.

Doesn’t Fit in All Workplaces

Using productivity tools to get things done can seem unprofessional to some people. It’s important to know that there’s nothing wrong with making use of a time management tool—be it a timer or a checklist.
Yet, the concept might not fit in all workplaces, especially if your co-workers keep interrupting your focus intervals.

Could Pump the Anxiety

The concept of timing tasks can turn up anxiety levels in some people. Plus, not finishing the set workload at the expected time can be stressful and frustrating.
The key here is chopping up the main task into small enough chunks. Otherwise, you might be discouraged and give up on the method altogether.

Disturbs the Thought Flow

Dividing work into short periods can disturb your train of thought at times. Additionally, it might be challenging for people in creative fields because when they get an idea, it’s best to let it out right away.


In an era of popping notifications and endless distractions, the Pomodoro Technique can be a beneficial tool.