Procrastination has been one of the greatest enemies of productivity. As a matter of fact, the result of a study conducted by Darius Foroux regarding the widespread issue of procrastination in the workforce, shows that 88% of the workers admit that they procrastinate at least an hour a day. This is quite an alarming number considering that the 2,219 participants of the study were people who are conscientious to productivity and habits. Unfortunately, the purpose of the study did not include identifying the reasons behind procrastination, but we can all agree to the reality that it is a problem that we have to face head on.
Meanwhile, brain science started to emerge as an area of research explaining the rationale of brain activities; and perhaps the idea behind procrastination. At the end of the 20th century, Marcus Raichle and his colleagues discovered a breakthrough that was characterized by an unusual activity in the brain. He noticed that when the brain is in a state of rest, brain regions begin to show synchronized activities in a fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) scanner. This revolutionary information discovered by Raichle explains the importance of rest and downtime activity for the human brain—which is greatly emphasized in Pomodoro Technique.
By the late 1980s, Francesco Cirillo invented the Pomodoro Technique. It is a time management system used by millions of people to improve productivity and time efficiency. When Cirillo was studying in the university, he wanted to create a system that can give him better results with less time and effort. This was the moment when he started to break down his tasks into smaller time blocks, which he organized by utilizing a tomoto-shaped timer—this was the reason why he named the system Pomodoro.
The Pomodoro Technique is very simple and easy to apply. First, you need to place a timer and the task you plan to accomplish in front of you. Once prepared, start by simply putting 25 minutes in your timer and then start working without distractions. After this period, you are free to have 5 minutes of rest where you can do whatever you want to do. The process continues by repeating another 3 to 4 pomodoro sessions, which once accomplished grants the person to take a longer break of 30 to 45 minutes.
You can tailor the Pomodoro Technique according to your own needs and focusing capabilities. Personally, I follow a 50-10 work and break sessions which I have proven to be very effective every time I commit myself into studying. I am truly captivated by how this method gives my brain time to ease and relax from the pressure of the huge task in front of me. Moreover, this system is absolutely amazing because it works not only for studying, but even for other things like writing, reading and active learning.
Indeed, these reasons are more than enough to explain why millions of people are utilizing this technique to jumpstart productivity and accomplish their goals. Just like any other method, however, it all boils down to our discipline and dedication to take action and finally—stop procrastination.