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The Pomodoro Technique

The Pomodoro Technique is a popular technique that many writers apply to their writing process. Many writers claim that this technique reduces procrastination and increases productivity.



The technique was developed in the early 1990s by university student and author Francesco Cirillo who structured his study schedule around his kitchen timer shaped like a tomato ('pomodoro' in Italian).


For writers, the Pomodoro Technique aims to:

  • change the way you regard writing as a task.

  • break down tiresome or lengthy writing periods into smaller, more manageable chunks.

  • provide you with a structure of writing that you can personalise to your own approach to writing and to your own work ethic.


There are six main stages to this technique.

  1. Decide what you want to write.

  2. Consider how long it will take you to finish your writing and divide this total time into sets of 25 minutes.

  3. Shut out all external distractions –– i.e. find a private room and shut the door, log out of social media, turn off your telephone, etc. –– as well as internal distractions –– i.e. make sure to eat, drink, go to the toilet, take any medication you need to take, etc. –– before beginning.

  4. Start a timer for 25 minutes, and write!

  5. Relax for 5 minutes.

  6. Repeat stages 4 and 5 until your writing is finished.


  • Make sure you only choose one thing to write at a time. Multitasking is advised against for this technique, as focusing on more than one task at a time can overwhelm your mind and reduce your overall productivity.

  • For every 4 sets of 25 minutes, increase your relaxation time by another 5 minutes. After 4 sets of 25 minutes, for example, you will relax for 10 minutes; after 8 sets, 15 minutes; after 12 sets, 20 minutes; etc.

  • Personalise the technique to yourself! If you know that you can't last 25 minutes without becoming restless and irritable, or if 25 minutes doesn't feel like enough time to get some quality writing done, relax or extend the time limits to whatever you feel most suitable for you.


Perhaps this technique will come in handy for your own writing process!

Comment your experience of this technique below!

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