The Pomodoro Technique: A Book Review

The Pomodoro Technique by Francesco Cirillo is a book about productivity. Having read the book, I think this technique can be helpful to anyone that struggles with procrastination, especially those with ADHD.

I’ve written recently about the fast-paced age that we live in. While I often advocate for self-care, I seldom write about the importance of hard work. Today’s post will focus on work and productivity. After all, self-care without hard work to balance it out is just dormancy, right?

Cirillo’s methods are simple, as they aim to help people minimize procrastination. As we already know, recurrent procrastination can result in stress, anxiety, hopelessness, and other consequences of not meeting deadlines.

When procrastination becomes the norm, it’s a vicious cycle:

  • Obligation
  • Procrastination
  • Mental stress
  • Repeat

A pomodori is an Italian word for tomato; however, the name for the Pomodoro Technique came from of those tomato-shaped kitchen timers.

The Pomodoro Technique involves chopping (Yes, I pun) meaningful work (i.e., a project, book, blog post, etc) into bursts of productivity (25-min segments) using a timer (tomato-shaped, smartphone, sand timer, whatever). Each pomodori are followed by short breaks to recharge (more about that later).

Breaking a big project down into 10 pomodoro (the plural for pomodori) is a lot less stressful than doing something at the last minute or missing a deadline. By working this way, Cirillo argues that you can get more work done, avoid the agony and stress  that comes from procrastinating, and increase your overall sense of accomplishment and efficiency.

Simple, right?

Let’s go over the rules:

  • Estimate how many pomodoro you will need for the task.
    • For example, it typically takes me about an 60–90 mins to write one of these articles. That’s approximately 3–4 pomodoro.
  • Set the timer for 25 mins.
  • No distractions are allowed during a pomodori.
    • If you get distracted or sidetracked, you must restart the timer back to 25mins.
  • No half or fragments of a pomodori allowed.
    • You must keep working for that 25 minutes even if you’ve completed your task.
  • Breaks are not optional.
    • After a pomodori, you must take a 5 min break.
    • After 4 pomodoro cycles, take a 15-30min break.
    • On breaks, avoid doing mindless things like scrolling social media. This break is about self care.
      • Read a book, walk the dog, meditate, make a cup of tea, do yoga, etc.


While this approach may seem strict and rigid, it can be a great way to break the vicious cycle of procrastination. You’re less likely to procrastinate if you know that 25 mins of focused work will get you a break. Breaking a big thing down into chunks can make any mundane or complicated task less daunting.

  • School papers
  • Home improvement projects
  • Finishing that book
  • Doing your taxes

The possibilities are endless!

Find the book here (paid link).

What are your thoughts about the Pomodoro Technique? Share with me in the comments!

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2 thoughts on “The Pomodoro Technique: A Book Review”

  1. Aniyatussaidah says:

    Can the Pomodoro technique be used as a counseling technique to help procrastination problems for students in completing their thesis proposal?

    1. Thanks for reading. This seems like a great application of the pomodoro technique. As for counseling related to procrastination, feel free to reach out to schedule a free phone consultation with me. Take care!

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