Pomodoro Technique to Reduce Procrastination

When you don’t want to work on something, a sense of neural discomfort arises. The neural discomfort activates the insular cortex which is associated with physical pain (source: Learning How To Learn). This physical pain activation in the brain is perhaps one of the reasons why we procrastinate. We look at a seemingly difficult task, feel physical pain in our brain, and turn to other pleasurable activities to soothe this pain. Nevertheless, researchers suggest that if we stick for a few minutes on the task at hand, this neural discomfort eventually dissipates.

© Kevin Mendez

The Pomodoro Technique is a time management tool developed by Francesco Cirillo. Cirillo used a kitchen timer shaped like a tomato, thereby naming it Pomodoro (tomato in Italian).

© Wikipedia

The idea of the Pomodoro technique is simple.

  1. Spend 25 minutes on the task at hand (no distractions).
  2. Take a break (usually 5 minutes)
  3. Do another 25 minutes of distraction-free work
  4. Continue the process until you hit 4 sets of 25-minute rounds.
  5. Take a longer break after the 4 sets (usually 30 minutes)
  6. Go back to step 1

1 super cool Pomodoro app:

  1. Forest – You plant a digital tree when you stay in the app for 25 minutes.  When you leave the app for any reason (text, e-mail, Youtube, etc.), the tree will die.