Perhaps you have already heard of the tomato technique, invented in the late 1980s by Francesco Cirillo, an entrepreneur and Italian software developer. The technique allows you to manage your time in a simple way and to divide the work into intervals using a simple timer. Traditionally these intervals are 25 minutes long, after which a 5 -minute break must be made. During this break all the activities that allow you to relax and return to your task must be carried out.
Cirillo used a tomato -shaped kitchen timer and applied this method during studies, and this is how he took the name of “tomato technique”. To date, the method is widely spread in many applications and websites that provide this interesting type of timer.
Basically the technique is very simple to apply but not everyone is able to make the most of its potential.
What is the tomato technique?
As we mentioned the tomato technique was conceived by Francesco Cirillo in the 1980s. To save his academic results, the young Francesco started monitoring the study time using a simple tomato -shaped timer that was used in the kitchen. Given the large amount of activity, between universities, lessons and study, he felt as if he was wasting a lot of time unnecessarily. I know that many of us have found themselves in the situation of him at least once in his life: managing time efficiently is not simple at all.
So Cirillo began a bet with himself to find an effective way of studying without distractions and set the kitchen timer for 10 minutes. At the first attempts, he lost the bet, but immediately understood that the road was the right one. From that moment he continued to perfect this method not only in the study but also at work, and this technique was born as we know it today.
The tomato technique in 5 steps
1 – Choose an activity you have to/want to complete
2- Set a timer for 25 minutes
3- focus and work on this activity without any distraction up to the timer ringtone
4- Take a 5-minute break and relax
5- Every 4 tomatoes (ringtones) Take a break longer than 15-20 minutes to recharge.
Everything here, simple and ultra effective. As also mentioned above, it is an easy understanding technique but despite its immediacy, not everyone is able to make the most of its potential. In fact, there are small precautions to do to customize this methodology accordingly.
How to effectively apply the tomato technique
First of all you have to start, without turns of words, without if and without but. We must start in the simplest way and test this technique that will surely do to your case. The best strategy is to take a simple timer and a sheet of paper and start taking notes by writing and noting the breaks to take. What you need to do is very simple, follow and respect the tomato method to the letter.
Once used to this new methodology you can also start customizing the technique according to your needs. In fact, if 25 minutes are few for you you can set the timer at 50 minutes and then also increase the pause period. This is the ideal solution for those who need to stay concentrated longer based on the tasks they have to carry out.
Effective, well structured breaks must also be made and that are able to load your energies. Since the break goes to stop the working process, it must be efficient. Obviously nothing stratospheric, such as moving from the chair and making a little stretching or drinking water. It is recommended not to use social media during these breaks since their goal is to get you as if possible to the screen as much as possible, better instead of a break, eating a fruit, etc …
To conclude, obviously you must set goals. The goals must be intertwined with the work to be done, as well as the breaks and the amount of tomatoes to be completed during the day. You will see that if you follow the letter this methodology you will be able to make the most of your time.