Every so often I go on a rant about the negative effects of multitasking (see “Focus! Multitasking can make you stupid”). Well, it now seems that someone has come up with a way to train your brain to focus by counting tomatoes. Yes, I did say tomatoes. Who knew.
It seems that in the 1980s, a man by the name of Francesco Cirillo developed a time management technique that would help you get more done in less time. Now, recall from your history–that is, if you haven’t already gotten yourself so immersed in technology that your brain can’t recall anymore—that in the 1980s we had far less of a problem focusing because we didn’t have the Internet, mobile devices, and 24/7 information being pushed at us. Surprising that Cirillo’s simple technique might be the solution in the frantic world of 2012.
So how does the technique work? On the website you’ll find a video that walks you through the process, but the essence is this.
- Choose a task that you want to accomplish and shut off anything that might disturb you.
- Set the Pomodoro timer (their tomato-shaped timer – you can use any timer) to 25 minutes.
- Work on your task until the Pomodoro rings, then stop.
- Put a check on a sheet of paper
- Take a break of about 5 minutes or less
- Start the next Pomodoro segment for 25 minutes
- Every 4 Pomodoros, take a longer break.