The Pomodoro Technique is the perfect tool for people who want to concentrate in order to finish many tasks more efficiently, maintain focus and productivity throughout the day.

First, Let me talk to you a little bit about the history of the Pomodoro Technique. So, it was invented back in the early 1990s by Francesco Cirillo. He named it the Pomodoro Technique after the tomato-shaped timer that he used to actually track his work as a university student. Since then, the Pomodoro technique has gained much popularity in various productivity and self-improvement circles.

The theory behind it is that any large task or any series of tasks can be broken down into short timed intervals called Pomodoros. The main tasks where you have to focus are followed by short time periods (5 minutes, 10 minutes). This takes advantage of the fact that our brains have limited attention spans. Therefore the Pomodoro technique could help us. The only item you really need is a timer. You can go old-fashioned or use your phone or computer with an app. This Pomodoro technique website is here to help you. 

  1. First, choose a task or series of tasks that you need to accomplish.
  2. Next, set the timer to 25 minutes. 
  3. Continue to work on the task until the timer goes off.
  4. Avoid constantly checking the timer.
  5. Once the timer goes off, take a short break for five minutes.
  6. Get up during this time, do not take the break at the same spot that you were working. I personally like getting up, holding a third-world squat, stretching, moving around. And that was also the time to use the bathroom and grab a refill for your water.
  7. After four Pomodoro cycles, take a longer break of 20 minutes.
  8. Rinse and repeat. Distractions: during your Pomodoro cycles, do your best to limit distractions. 

The whole point is 25 minutes of intense focus using this Pomodoro technique. Don't be checking Facebook or reddit or the Med School Insiders website on and off. Focus on the task at hand. So I personally put my phone on either airplane mode or do not disturb mode. But be careful because 'do not disturb' mode can actually affect the notifications on your timer app if you are using your smartphone app. If someone else comes knocking for help, use the inform, negotiate, callback strategy which was suggested by Francesco Cirillo himself. Remember you are doing the Pomodoro technique

So, don't be distracting when doing this Pomodoro technique. Negotiate a time when you can get back to your calls, and call back when you're Pomodoro is complete and you're ready to address their need. When to use it: I only found out about the technique in medical school and if you've checked my first video ever, link above right here, then you'll know that it is one of the key strategies that I wish I started using as an undergrad in college.

So, I often use this Pomodoro technique when I can't get myself motivated to study for a subject that is either particularly dull or boring. So anyways, I get my Pomodoro app started and I tell myself I just need to do one cycle of 25 minutes. By making this commitment small, to just do a small amount of work, it's easier to get started. And once I finish that cycle, it always feels less daunting as I've built momentum. At this time, it's usually not a problem to keep moving forward with my work. I've also found it useful for reading textbook chapters, going through my on key deck, and getting started on background reading for research projects. Remember though that, Pomodoro is ultimately a productivity system to serve you, therefore don't feel obligated to always take a break if you're in the groove.

For longer days where you'll be studying for most of the day such as the day before a final exam, I recommend you do take breaks as this sustains your stamina and prevents burnout. This Pomodoro technique is designed to help you. Sometimes though it's best to just keep chugging along once you've built momentum. I often stop the Pomodoro technique app and continue my work without breaks when I'm either reviewing lectures or doing research data analysis and writing. So, with reviewing lectures, I generally review one lecture, take a brief break after finishing the lecture, and then move to the next. These breaks feel more natural to me than taking time breaks, but as always, figure out what works best for you. So going on to research.

While this Pomodoro technique has been conducive to background research reading for me, I find that the writing and the analysis part of research require prolonged periods of concentration and therefore I prefer to not take the break after 25 minutes. At this time, I either modify my Pomodoro or I just go for long stretches without taking a break. So then, going on to modifications; again, because Pomodoro is a template to help you increase your productivity, you may want to actually alter the timing scheme. So, for some tasks, it may be best to alter the timing intervals from a 25 5 minute allocation, which is the default, to something like a 50/10.

I've used the 50/10 minute intervals with good results. Figure out what works best for you. You can change it up however you please. Again, the 30/30 app allows for flexibility in this regard and has a great interface. Alright guys, that is it for this video. If you found any of these tips helpful, please press the like button below. New videos every week. Hit the subscribe button if you have not already and I will see you guys in that next one you!