25 and 5: how and why does the Pomodoro Technique work?

What is the Pomodoro technique and how to use it for productive work.
By Alexander Mashkov Alexander Mashkov
Alexander Mashkov
Alexander Mashkov 24.06.2020 3 min
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25 and 5: how and why does the Pomodoro Technique work?

Pomodoro Technique is one of the key techniques in time management. Its efficiency has been proven by many researchers. For example, Federico Gobbo and Matteo Vaccari observed a group of programmers who worked using this technique and without it. The efficiency of the Pomodoro Technique was higher. According to another study by Staples Inc., employees who work only with a lunch break are less productive than employees who take a few small breaks during the working day.

Despite the fact that many people have heard about the "pomodoro", not everyone has an understanding of the technique. We sorted things out and prepared a small guide for you.

About the history

It was 1980. Italian student Francesco Cirillo attended to the second year of University after successfully passing the exams. Summer passed. Francesco studied hard and did his homework every day when he came home. Time was passing by, and the next session was just around the corner. And then our hero realized that he was completely unprepared for the exams. Cirillo did not understand how this happened, because during the semester he spent a lot of time studying.

To find the answer to this question, the student asked himself: "Can I really practice for at least 10 minutes?". Francesco took a kitchen timer that had the shape of a tomato and began to use it during his classes. This is how the technique got its name - Pomodoro. Months of practice and temporary experiments have turned the experience of an ordinary student into a world-famous technique.

Why do I need the Pomodoro Technique?

Unlike the student of the last century, we live in a time of constant distractions, when the ability to concentrate on one task becomes much more relevant. Pomodoro helps you to increase productivity and do more things in less time.

Cirillo identified the following tasks for his method:

  1. 1. Constantly strive to achieve your goals;
  2. 2. Improve your workflow;
  3. 3. Make your work more efficient.

However, it is worth noting that Pomodoro is only a useful tool for achieving your goals. The rest depends on who uses it and how.

What's the point?

The intervals of the workflow are conventionally called pomodoros (now we know why). 1 pomodoro = 30 minutes of which 25 minutes is working time and 5 minutes is rest.

Before you turn on the timer, prepare a list of all tasks that should be completed today. Specify the priority for each one: from the most important to the least.

We take the first task, turn on the timer and start working.

The timer call indicates that you can have a 5 minutes rest. Do not immediately look at the next task or start to scroll the feed. Relax, stretch, or walk. Give your brain a little rest. When the time runs out, turn on the timer again and get back to work.

After 4 completed "pomodoros" you need to take a long break: from 15 to 30 minutes.

The list of tasks in this technique is very important: it will help you to evaluate your efficiency. For example, at the end of a working day or week, you can see how much time was spent on a particular task.

What about distraction?

Despite the fact that technology appeared as a weapon against distractions, they still appear during working process. There is a solution:

  1. 1. Write down the distracting factor (a thought, an action, etc.) on a piece of paper so that you don't forget, and go back to your task.
  2. 2. If the distraction is very important and there is no way to postpone it, set the timer to pause. Make a note next to the "stopped" task so that you can see when you were least productive.

Officially, no one prescribed these rules, they appeared post factum. Cirillo also insisted that there are no distractions that can't wait until the end of "pomodoro."


After a week of working on this technique, you can see how many "pomodoros" you complete per day. For example, an 8-hour working day is equal to 14 pomodoros.

This data will help you to make lists of tasks for the day, because you will know which tasks will take longer and which can wait until tomorrow.

What should I do if the task is over and the timer hasn't rung yet?

You definitely shouldn't turn it off early. It is better to do a task that is not included in your current list or plan for the next working day.

Can I set the timer for more time?

Francesco believed that the optimal working time is 30 minutes. However, if you master the technique, you can safely experiment with intervals. For example, set a timer for 50 minutes (45 for work, 5 for rest).

WEEEK and Pomodoro

Today, almost no one uses the kitchen timer. There are many different mobile and computer apps that allow you to work using the Pomodoro Technique.

Not so long ago, we created our own timer, which you can turn on while working on tasks in WEEEK. You no longer need to use additional services.

Open the workspace and create a list of tasks for the day.

To do this, just enter the date (so that the task is displayed in your personal calendar) and set the priority. If you work in the command area, mark yourself as the performer to filter out tasks from other team members in the calendar.

When the list is complete we start setting up the timer:

You can use the standard timing, which we discussed above (25 and 5 minutes) or set your own.

Ready? Click "Play" and work! When the time runs out, the timer will notify you with a classic call that it is time to rest :)

When you start the next pomodoro, click “repeat”.

P.S.: Don't forget that after 4 "pomodoros" you need to rest for 15-30 minutes. To do this, reset the timer.

Well, let's try it!

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