The Pomodoro Technique Summary

The Pomodoro Technique Summary and Quotes | Francesco Cirillo

The Acclaimed Time-Management System That Has Transformed How We Work

About Francesco Cirillo

Francesco Cirillo is a partner at Cirillo Consulting, a consulting firm out of Berlin. His firm provides tools, consulting, and training to improve the productivity of individuals and organizations in a simple, fast and sustainable way.

Cirillo developed his system for improving productivity as a college student in the late 1980s. His creation of the Pomodoro Technique has helped millions of people and companies around the globe.

Francesco’s passion is to achieve better results without adding more time and effort. 


Have you ever tried time management techniques, only to find they take more work than your work? Then, when you used them, you wasted time doing meaningless work instead of doing what is most important.

The same thing happened to Cirillo while he was a student. He used a tomato-shaped kitchen timer and invented the Pomodoro Technique. Pomodoro is the Italian word for tomato.

Here are the key takeaways from the Pomodoro Technique:

StoryShot #1: Increase Productivity by Turning Time into Your Ally

Originally, Cirillo came up with the Pomodoro Study Technique after noticing he was wasting time studying. He started using a kitchen timer to help him focus and avoid distractions.

This gave him a short goal and a quick win that motivated him to be more productive. 

He used the technique more during his studies and decided it could also help others. The discovery of Francesco Cirillo turned into the Pomodoro Technique, which has helped millions worldwide. 

The popularity of this technique comes from its approach to time management. It takes a different approach from other time management techniques. For most people, the ticking clock causes anxiety, especially when there is a deadline. This leads to ineffective work, which leads to procrastination. 

The Pomodoro Technique flips this anxiety about time. It turns time into your ally. It enables you to do what you want when you want, empowering you to increase your productivity. The technique’s power lies in its simplicity and ability to focus our brains. It is also straightforward and simple to implement. It offers several keys to help in the digital age of continual distractions. 

“The ticking becomes a calming sound. “It’s ticking, and I’m working and everything’s fine.” After a while, users don’t even hear the ring because their concentration is so high. In fact, not hearing the Pomodoro ring becomes a real problem in some cases.”

— Francesco Cirillo

StoryShot #2: The Pomodoro Technique is Both Simple and Effective

What is the Pomodoro Technique? Is it as simple as everyone says? Yes, it is a simple technique that anyone can learn.

Here is a quick breakdown of how to use the Pomodoro Technique:

  1. Set a timer for 25 minutes and work on your project doing nothing else for those 25 minutes.
  2. When the timer goes off, take a 5-minute break and do something not work-related.
  3. When that 5-minutes is up, start with another 25-minutes.
  4. After doing four sessions in a row, take a 30-minute break.
  5. Then start another four sessions of focused work in a row.

The simplicity of how it works leads some to believe it cannot possibly work as well as it does. Farid Behnia, the founder of StoryShots, is one of these fans. He’s been using this technique for over ten years.

StoryShot #3: Deal With Your Distractions The Right Way

Most time management best practices focus on getting the important things done first. Pomodoro’s strength is its ability to deal with distractions. Many people use distractions to spend hours wasting time and procrastinating. 

“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.”

— Francesco Cirillo

Use the 25-minutes, a Pomodoro, to ignore everything else. Put your phone on airplane mode and turn off notifications on your computer during your Pomodoro.

 “A Pomodoro can’t be interrupted: It marks 25 minutes of pure work. A Pomodoro can’t be split up: There is no such thing as half a Pomodoro”

– Francesco Cirillo

If something pops into your head during the Pomodoro, follow these steps: 

  1. Don’t ignore the thought, or it will take energy away from the task
  2. Write the thought down to get it out of your head
  3. Move on and keep working

This framework helps you record irrelevant thoughts without letting them distract you from work. As you practice the technique, you will get better at stopping distractions.

StoryShot #4: Reward Yourself with Regular Breaks

Rewarding ourselves with a 5-minute rest gives our brains a break from concentrating. This helps us relax and keeps us from tiring our brains out by overextending them.

Procrastination often happens when people never give their brains a break. When your brain is tired, it’s easy to procrastinate.

Here are a few rules for the break time:

  • Try to get away from your desk, so you don’t keep doing work-related items
  • Move around to increase your blood flow. You could make a cup of coffee, make yourself a sandwich, or, if you’re working from home, water your plants or do the dishes.
  • After four sessions, take a longer break.
  • The long break is an excellent time to eat, take a walk, exercise, etc.

The other positive of having breaks is that they are a little reward for your body. These rewards can act like a carrot that you dangle in front of yourself to stay focused on your work.

StoryShot #5: The Pomodoro Technique Requires Three Different Sheets

In the Pomodoro Technique, we use different sheets:

  1. The Activity Inventory sheet
  2. The To Do Today sheet
  3. The Records sheet

Use the Activity Inventory sheet to write out everything you need to do. This sheet comprises:

  • A heading with your name.
  • Write about various activities as you think of them. Check off the tasks you have completed.

The To Do Today Sheet organizes the tasks you want to focus on for that day. Pick these activities from The Activity Inventory Sheet. Complete this sheet at the start of the day or the night before. Creating a to-do list helps focus the mind. This sheet contains:

  • A heading with a place, date, and author.
  • A list of tasks to do during the day, in order of priority.
  • A section titled Unplanned & Urgent Activities. List the unexpected tasks that are necessary as they come up. These activities might change the day’s plan.

Start each day with a new sheet, so the sheet is focused on that day. An old sheet can distract you from today’s priorities. So, transfer things over to the new sheet. 

The Pomodoro Technique PDF, Infographic, Free Audiobook and Animated Book Summary

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