Can’t stay focused long enough to get things done? Working in short bursts can help you keep procrastination at bay and get more productive as a result. This template combines the Pomodoro Technique with a Kanban board to make that possible.
What Is the Pomodoro Technique?
Developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s, the Pomodoro Technique consists of 25-minute work increments followed by a 5-minute break. Its name comes from a simple tomato-shaped kitchen timer Cirillo used to time his studying sessions.
The Pomodoro Technique breaks down into 5 steps:
- Get your to-do list and a timer.
- Set the timer for 25 minutes.
- Work on one task until the time is up.
- Take a 5-minute break. This completes one Pomodoro.
- For every 4 completed Pomodoros, take a longer break (15-30 minutes).
Supercharge Your Productivity With This Pomodoro Kanban Board Template
Make the most out of the Pomodoro technique and the Kanban method using this customizable template. Here are a few tips & tricks you can try:
- Prioritize: Rearrange to-do list items according to priority, highlight tasks and sub-tasks, and organize everything using clickable #tags.
- Break down tasks: Create a high-level outline of big and complex tasks. Break them down into a series of sub-tasks you can easily fit in a 25-minute window.
- Change your view: Tired of Kanban boards? Visualize your task list as a mind map or an organizational chart and work the way you feel the most productive.
How to Use the Pomodoro Kanban Board Template
- To get started, sign in to your Taskade account or sign up for free.
- Open the template link and click on the ➕New Project button.
- Choose the Workspace where you want to create your Pomodoro kanban board.
- Customize the board using Taskade’s editing and formatting features.
- Finally, click on the Share button next to your profile photo to start collaborating.
The Pomodoro Technique is a productivity hack adopted by developers, students, and freelancers to finish tasks fast. The theory is that by focusing intensely on a task for a short period of time, you can get more done in less time overall.
The popular time management method encourages you to alternate "pomodoros" (focus work sessions) with frequent short breaks. The idea is that the short breaks hold off mental fatigue while the short intense work sessions promote sustained concentration.
Who should use the Pomodoro Technique?
If you find that you:
- Often have large chunks of your workday derailed by little distractions
- Regularly find yourself working past the point of optimal productivity
- Have a lot of work that could take unlimited amounts of time such as studying for an exam or doing market research for a new product you want to launch
- Find that gamifying your tasks and goals helps you be more productive
What is the Pomodoro Technique?
The Pomodoro Technique was developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. He was a student in college who found he was struggling to focus on his schoolwork. He found himself feeling unable to stay on task, so he challenged himself to commit to just 10 minutes of focused study time.
He found a tomato (Pomodoro in Italian) shaped kitchen timer to use, hence the name of the Pomodoro Technique.
He later would write a book about the method where he broke it down into 5 simple steps.
- Get a to-do list and a timer
- Set your timer for 25 minutes
- Work on your task until the time is up
- Take a 5-minute break
- Every 4 pomodoros, take a longer 15-30 minute break
Sounds simple, right? And that is really the strength of the technique. Anyone can follow this and get started right away.
There are some additional rules to add to the practice:
Break down complex projects
If a task requires more than 4 pomodoros,
break it up into smaller, actionable steps. This will help you to stay focused and chart a clear progression towards the completion of a project.
Group small tasks together
Tasks that will take less than one pomodoro can be grouped together and completed in a single session.
Once started, a pomodoro must be completed
You cannot allow your pomodoro to be interrupted or paused, especially for things like checking emails, chats, or Facebook. If another task or idea comes up in the middle of a pomodoro comes up, make note of it, but continue on with your current pomodoro until completion.
If you are interrupted and it cannot be avoided, then take your 5-minute break. Once finished, start the pomodoro again.
Cirillo suggests tracking interruptions when they happen and spending some time thinking about how they can be avoided in your next session.
If you do finish your tasks before the timer goes off, use the rest of the time for overlearning, sharpening skills, or increasing your knowledge. As an example, you could spend the extra time rereading a section of a school assignment you found particularly challenging, practicing math problems for your calculus class, or researching about networking opportunities.
Why is the Pomodoro Technique effective?
Don't be fooled by what may seem like the silly nature of using tomatoes to track time. The Pomodoro Technique has been shown to be an effective way to increase productivity. A few reasons why it works so well:
It's easy to get started
The Pomodoro Technique is easy to learn and implement. All you need is a timer and a to-do list. This makes it much more likely that you will actually use the technique and see results.
It combats procrastination
One of the key reasons it works so well is that it helps to break down the feeling of being overwhelmed by a large project. By focusing on only one task for 25 minutes, it feels more manageable.
It's hard to stare down a big project and can make us feel uncomfortable or uneasy. To combat those negative feelings, people turn to distractions like watching TV, scrolling endlessly through TikTok, or checking email for the 33rd time today.
Studies have shown that an effective method for breaking that overwhelming urge to put something off is to condense it down to a tiny, easy to accomplish first step.
As an example, instead of sitting down to reach the next chapter for your organic chemistry class, commit to reading for 5 minutes. If that sounds like too much, start with just a single section or paragraph.
Tackling a small task for a short period of time is much easier to digest than thinking about doing an entire project.
For many people, the Pomodoro technique is the ultimate way to defeat procrastination. Break down your projects or large tasks into smaller, bite-sized tasks you only have to do for 25 minutes. Doing this will keep you focused on the task at hand and prevent you from getting overwhelmed.
By its very nature, the Pomodoro Technique helps to prevent distractions and multitasking. Once you start a 25-minute interval, you are not supposed to stop until it is finished. This helps to train your brain to focus on one task at a time and resist the urge to switch to other tasks.
This is important because research has shown that multitasking can actually make you less productive. When you try to do several things at once, your brain has to constantly switch gears and this takes up valuable time and energy.
Gamifying task management
Another reason the Pomodoro Technique is so effective is that it gamifies task management. Each Pomodoro you complete is like a small victory and this can help to keep you motivated.
It also provides a sense of accomplishment, which can help to boost your confidence and make you more likely to stick with the technique.
Tips for using the Pomodoro Technique
The 25 minutes of work followed by 5-minute breaks is an easy concept to adopt, but there are some things you can do to make it even more effective for you.
Plan your Pomodoros in advance
As you begin each day, take 20 minutes to plan out your pomodoros. Analyze your task list for the day and decide how many pomodoros each task will take. As mentioned above, tasks that will take more than 4 pomodoros should be further broken down into their component tasks, while smaller tasks can be lumped together into a single pomodoro.
Create overflow pomodoros
You can add in 1-2 overflow pomodoros each day. These are for tasks that take longer than expected or for unexpected tasks that rear their head as the day goes on.
If the overflow pomodoros are not needed, use them for learning or for knocking out some simple tasks with a lower priority that have been getting pushed back.
Your pomodoros do not have to be 25 minutes
You can try different lengths of time for some tasks. Sometimes for things like brainstorming or writing it might feel like 25 minutes is too short and is actually breaking up the flow of your work.
For some people. longer times might actually be optimal for them and they may find they get more done using a 50-minute pomodoro followed by a 10-15 minute break. Some might go even longer.
You might also find for tasks that you have been putting off or just blatantly dreading, 25 minutes is too long to commit to. Try 15 or even 10 minutes instead. Remember one of the reasons this technique works so well for so many people is it is just about getting started.
Take real breaks
If you do most of your work on a computer, when it is time for your break, get away from the computer. Give your eyes a break from any kind of screen. Walk away from your desk. Move around. Stretch. Get the blood flowing. Grab a snack or drink.
Don't do anything work-related.
Use an app
There are many great timers out there, but Taskade makes it easy for you by including a Pomodoro Technique timer right in our app.
We compiled a list of the best kanban board apps available to help you in your search for the best productivity tool that works for you.
The bottom line
The Pomodoro Technique is a simple yet effective way to boost productivity and get more done. If you are looking for a way to better manage your time, give the technique a try. You may be surprised at how well it works.
The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method, developed by Francesco Cirillo, that uses a timer to break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks. It creates a system that encourages people to work with the time they have, rather than against it.
We have compiled this checklist so you can organize your workflow, which should look something like this:
- 🚩 To-Dos / Backlog
- 💪 Do Today
- 🏃♂️ In Progress
- ✅ Done!
Copy this template into your workspace and get things done!
P.S. If you're wondering where the tomato came from, Cirillo named the system after the tomato-shaped timer he used to track his work as a university student 🍅😁