Your time in college is precious. Any given week can look like this: you have three papers due, an exam in the morning, a group project PowerPoint presentation that needs work, a t-shirt design for your sorority that’s overdue and if you go one more day without emailing your grandma she’s going to cut you out of her will.

There’s so much to get done and so little time.  So, what can you do?

Enter the Pomodoro method. Developed by a guy with a tomato-shaped kitchen timer (“pomodoro” is Italian for tomato), it’s a time-based method of accomplishing tasks.

How to Pomodoro

  1. 1. Choose a task.
  2. 2. Set your timer for 25 minutes.
  3. 3. Work on your task (and nothing else) until the timer goes off.
  4. 4. Set your timer for 5 minutes.  Do whatever you want.
  5. 5. Repeat, extending the break to 15 minutes after every fourth Pomodoro.

Using the Pomodoro Method Effectively

The crux of the Pomodoro method is being disciplined and focused. By doing nothing (no texting, checking Facebook, watching TV or talking to your roommate) except the task at hand, the Pomodoro method decreases the total time it takes you to complete it.

Tips & Tricks

  • Break projects down into tasks that take 1-2 Pomodoros so you can see what you’re accomplishing.
  • Adjust break times to fit your particular needs, but don’t interrupt the 25 minute segments.
  • Hang a sign on the back of your chair to discourage others from interrupting you.
  • Relinquish all email (or Facebook, or Pinterest or your time-sucker of choice) to a Pomodoro at the beginning or end of the day.


The Pomodoro method isn’t going to decrease the amount of things you have to do, but it will help you fit the tasks of your daily life into fewer, more focused blocks of time.