Cultivating Curious Minds Blog

This blog on the Cultivating Curious Minds website provides information, strategies technology tools, and resources for educators on increasing innovation in the classroom, international education, and effective professional development

Increasing Productivity with Pomodoro Timing!

In our digital era, we are constantly surrounded by distractions. A ping of a phone message. A flashing red alert of an email. As a result, it becomes exponentially difficult to focus on the task at hand, resulting in feelings of frustration and a lack of a sense of accomplishment.

Enter pomodoro technique.

As a matter of fact, as I write this blog post I am implementing pomodoro technique.

What is it?

The pomodoro technique was invented by the author and entrepreneur Francis Cirillo after the tomato shaped timer he used to track his work as a university student. In essence, Pomodoro Technique breaks work down into short, focused, timed blocks with a series of scheduled breaks in between.

Pomodoro Timing is generally implemented in the following structure:

  • Using a pomodoro timer, set it to 25 minutes
  • Work on a task until the timer rings

  • Take a short break (roughly 5 minutes)

  • Repeat cycle four times

  • After the fourth pomodoro cycle take a longer break

I always start with writing down the tasks I need to accomplish in order of importance prior to starting using pomodoro timing to ensure a high level of focus in my blocks.

Why Pomodoro Technique?

Pomodoro Technique is effective, as it trains the brain to focus on one task at hand, in lieu of meandering without achieving any tangible results. Furthermore, Pomodoro Technique provides a healthy dose of stress by making you work against the ticking of a clock. Finally, Pomodoro Technique has a built in reward system with schedules breaks which provides a level of motivation to see the task through.

How can I use it in the classroom?

I have started implementing Pomodoro Wednesdays in the classroom. During my 82 minute class, I use a pomodoro timer on YouTube such as this one with classical music:

Students work for a focused 25 minutes and then have a five minute free break to do as they please. We then repeat the cycle once more.

This has helped alleviate stress for my students as well as provide them with a reward as increased motivation for focus in the class. This technique can help students beyond the classroom by helping them improve their study habits as well as prepare them for university and their future careers. You and your students can also download the Focus Keeper app on your phone for a personalized Pomodoro Timer. 

Have you tried using Pomodoro timing in your classroom? What other time management and productivity techniques do you yourself use or with your students? Please comment below :)