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Sarah Linton

Professional & Personal Coach

Pomodoro Technique: How to break the habit of Procrastination. 5 steps that will increase your productivity with a Tomato.


Pomodoro: How many times have you started a task – got distracted – checked social media– messages, emails and before you know it – it’s the next meeting or you are needed somewhere else?

Want to feel more empowered and have more energy for your to-do list & still have time for YOU?

We are always on the lookout for hacks that can help us (and you!) get more done, in less time whilst staying in the creative zone & avoiding hitting the wall.
We found Tomatoes became a catalyst for change!

Photo Credit: alessandrozocc | Make waves with a Tomato
Photograph by dvoevnore

Pomodoro: Why TOMATOES?

Pomodoro is the Italian word for tomato. The POMODORO technique was created in the 1980s by Uni student Francesco Cirillo when he used a tomato-shaped egg timer to measure his 25-minute sessions. These intervals became known as Pomodoro’s & here’s its namesake.

POMODORO METHOD: It’s a KIS approach instilling a sense of urgency to complete a task. Dividing your time into “DO”  and “BREAK” sessions.

25mins “DO” then a scheduled 5 min “BREAK” – 3 R’s :  Refresh – Reset – Recharge – it’s that simple & you will be smashing out tasks creating more time in your schedule for YOU.

Pomodoro : A simple 5 step process

1) Choose a Task

or pick 1 of the tasks for the day.

2) Set Timer

25min session (a POMODORO).

3) Focus

Get in the zone & do your best work – NO distractions.

4) Reward

5 Min Break – Recharge – Reset.

5) Repeat

Reset Timer.

After 4 X Pomodoros (100 mins of DOING +15 mins BREAK )
REWARD – 20 min break.

The POMODORO Technique grassroots of productivity & time management started in the corporate workspace. Yet it’s one of our many tips and tricks we have introduced Real Life Pomodoro with clients who are professionals, freelancers, entrepreneurs, busy parents, students & seen some inspiring results that have kicked that procrastination habit into touch.

Productivity does wonders for our confidence, energy, focus and momentum. A Bonus bonanza! We find more time to prioritise our SELF-CARE and the more VITALITY we have to do MORE of what we love.

The Pomodoro Technique increases your brains incentives for reward – and we love rewards.

What’s the Secret?

1) A study published in the journal COGNITO shows our minds tune out when working consistently on a project.
2) The breaks make us super productive – Short breaks help you concentrate better & fight cognitive boredom.
3) If you are a PROCRASTINATOR –(that’s around 30% of us who admit it – the reality is we all are – some have bashed the habit) it gets you started – the technique pushes you to the start line of each task – 1 step at a time.
4) If you are a PERFECTIONIST – Squash the Perfectionist inside you – take imperfect action & avoid the perfectionist mindset by the overly fine-tuning project.

Pomodoro – 4 Simple Rules


As we transition into our world around COVID, many of our clients are referencing overwhelm and experiencing serious procrastination habits.  This has proven useful for making progress around their productivity.

Photo Credit :  Carl-Heyerdahl Unsplash | Work Smarter not harder!


1) LESS MENTAL FATIGUE- Keeps your mind fresh and focussed.
2) STOP PROCRASTINATING- Getting out of overwhelming into imperfect action.
3) MORE DONE in Less Time.
4) MORE MOTIVATION – because you are getting sh*t done.
5) STOP MULTITASKING – break the habit.
6) LESS STRESS – because you are tackling one thing at a time.
7) POSITIVE impact on mental & physical wellbeing.
8) MORE ENERGY – to get even more done & create space for self-care.

(N.B – worthy of note. Acknowledge that we are individual – make it work for you. Whilst 25 mins is the model.  You make the time length tailored to what works for you. Find your optimum time & make it fit to how you work)

Customize it – get creative!

Take Suzie G’s example. A busy work from home Mum based on KL,  made it work for her juggling WFH with Home & Family Management.  Suzie used the household appliances to plan her Pomodoro Sessions! The cycle on her washing machine or the timer on her oven became the length of her task time.

DO – BREAK – DO – BREAK method

By following the DO– BREAK – DO – BREAK method you will rewire and train your brain to check any notifications as a reward that you claim when you have completed a work session.

We came across the POMODORO Technique written by Francessca Cirilo a decade ago. As a busy mum to 2 teens, one studying for GCSE’s, p/t work alongside study for my future career, husband working overseas – all as we were preparing to relocate on an overseas adventure.

It’s a technique that can help squish multi-tasking.

4 years post-move with continued study & expanding a Coaching Business,
we know Pomodoros work in real life! Further understanding & practice would become the backbone of staying out of that procrastination zone.

10 mins every hour dancing out any fear, worry & anxiety so we can spend 50 mins every hour doing something useful.

Get over the 3 P’s. To release from people-pleasing, procrastination & perfectionism are skills we need for more personal freedom.

Takeaways :

  • An easy to use hack that reaps rewards – it’s free!
  • Creates space for your light to shine.
  • Brief mental breaks will actually help you stay focussed & on your task.
  • Forced breaks create space for refreshed thinking & creativity as well as a fix from any frazzled depleted exhausted state.
  • Reward connect us to the 3 R’s – Refresh – Reset – Recharge.


Which area of your life could you apply the POMODORO technique? How could it help you?
Let us know what you smashed out when you applied this.

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Sarah Linton

Sarah Linton is a Catalyst for change and impact specialising in making change a reality for personal and professional evolution. A former business leader at global organisations including the Walt Disney Company. A Director, Master Coach, Mum and Founder of Tides of Change & The Sarah is passionately connected to her True North as a prolific creator of new horizons & holding that as a vision for her clients partnering across time zones in the UK, USA & Asia Pacific.

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