Book Notes #30: The Pomodoro Technique by Francesco Cirillo

William Meller - The Pomodoro Technique - Francesco Cirillo
The Pomodoro Technique is a time management system that encourages people to work with the time they have—rather than against it.


Title: The Pomodoro Technique
Author: Francesco Cirillo
Themes: Organization Performance, Technology, Management, Business
Year: 2009
Publisher: Creative Commons
ISBN: 1445219948, 9781445219943
Pages: 46

This book is a pocket version of The Pomodoro Technique - the time management method successfully being used by thousands of people around the world. 

The Pomodoro Technique transforms time into a valuable ally. 

You'll be amazed to see how your everyday work improves, how much more you can get accomplished, and how you can avoid anxiety by using a few simple rules. 

The Pomodoro Technique can help you stay focused and avoid distractions while working, leading to increased productivity.

By breaking work into small, manageable chunks, you can make tasks less daunting and more manageable.

Taking short breaks after each Pomodoro can help to refresh your mind and increase motivation.

William Meller - The Pomodoro Technique - Francesco Cirillo

Keeping track of your progress using a simple tool like a kitchen timer can help you stay motivated and on track.

The Pomodoro Technique can be customized to suit your needs and schedule, you can adjust the Pomodoro duration, break length, and other parameters to fit your work style.

It's not always about working harder, but about working smarter by using the Pomodoro Technique.

My Book Highlights:

"... A timetable sets a limit. Limits (when they’re truly understood as inviolable) help us be concrete, and do things. They motivate us to do our best to complete the tasks before us within a set period. The same thing happens when the Pomodoro rings..."

"... The timetable is protracted, fatigue increases, productivity drops, and the timetable again is protracted..."

"... During this break you can stand up and walk around the room, have a drink of water, or fantasize about where you’ll go on your next vacation. You can do deep breathing or stretching exercises. If you work with other people, you can swap a joke or two. During this quick break it’s not a good idea to engage in activities that require significant mental effort..."

"... Every four Pomodoros, stop the activity you’re working on and take a longer break, from 15 to 30 minutes..."

"... The first objective in cutting down on interruptions is to be aware of the number and type of internal interruptions. Observe them, accept them, and schedule them or delete them as the case may be..."

"... When the Pomodoro rings, mark an “X” next to the activity you’ve been working on and take a break for 3 to 5 minutes..."

"... The appearance of so many internal interruptions is our mind’s way of sending us a message: We are not at ease with what we are doing. This may be because the prospect of failing worries us—it can be scary. Or maybe our goal seems too complex or we feel we are running out of time. To protect us, our minds come up with different, more reassuring activities. We end up favoring interruptions wherever we can latch on to them..."

"... If you finish an activity in the first 5 minutes of the Pomodoro and feel the task actually was finished during the previous Pomodoro and revision wouldn’t be worthwhile, as an exception to the rule, the current Pomodoro doesn’t have to be included in the Pomodoro count..."

"... If an estimate is greater than five to seven Pomodoros, this means that the activity is too complex. It’s better to break it down into several activities, estimate those activities separately, and write them down on several lines in the Activity Inventory..."

"... A break every 25 minutes lets you see things from a different perspective and enables you to come up with different solutions; you often find mistakes to correct, and your creative processes are stimulated. Detachment enhances the value of continuity. But the break really has to be a break..."

Why is The Pomodoro Technique so popular? Because it is easy to use, and most of all, because it works! The Pomodoro method is straightforward and takes two hours. 

Here is where the cycle begins...

First, you engage in a 25-minute activity with a timer. 

Work on the task.

End work when the timer rings and take a short break (typically 5–10 minutes).

If you have finished fewer than three Pomodoro, repeat the steps above until you go through all three Pomodoro.

After three Pomodoro cycles are done, take the fourth Pomodoro and then take a long break (typically 20 to 30 minutes).

Repeat to conclude your daily goals.

This concludes the cycle...

Chapters of the Book:

1 The Context
   1.1 Goals of the Pomodoro Technique
   1.2 Basic Assumptions

2 Material and Method
   2.1 Objective I: Find Out How Much Effort an Activity Requires
   2.2 Objective II: Cut Down on Interruptions
   2.3 Objective III: Estimate the Effort for Activities
   2.4 Objective IV: Make the Pomodoro More Effective
   2.5 Objective V: Set Up a Timetable
   2.6 Other Possible Objectives

3 Results
   3.1 Learning Time
   3.2 The Length of the Pomodoro
   3.4 A Different Perception of Time
   3.5 Sounds of the Pomodoro
   3.6 Shapes of the Pomodoro
   3.7 Ring Anxiety
   3.8 Constant Internal Interruptions
   3.9 The Next Pomodoro Will Go Better
   3.10 A Mechanical Pomodoro or Pomodoro Software
   3.11 Improving Estimates
   3.12 Motivation and the Pomodoro
   3.13 And If Everything Goes Completely Wrong?
   3.14 The Pomodoro Has a Limit
   3.15 When Not To Use the Pomodoro

4 Conclusions
   4.1 Inverting the Dependency on Time
   4.2 Regulating Complexity
   4.3 Detachment
   4.4 Observation and Continual Feedback
   4.5 Sustainable Pace


It's not always about working harder, but about working smarter by using the Pomodoro Technique.

Francesco Cirillo is a partner in Cirillo Consulting, a business consulting firm based in Berlin that works with many of the world's largest companies. He created the Pomodoro technique while a university student, looking for a way to get more done in less time.

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1 comment:

  1. Very interesting notes! Thanks William!