Focumon! Blog

What’s wrong with the Pomodoro method

Focumon! is a gamified focus timer where productivity becomes an adventure. Begin a co-working / co-studying journey with 1,000+ Focumon trainers!

The Pomodoro Technique is a widely adopted approach to managing time efficiently. Instead of aimlessly working throughout the day, it advocates for focused 25-minute work intervals, followed by 5-minute breaks (or occasionally longer), marked by an alarm.

Invented by Francesco Cirillo in the 1980s, the technique got its name from a tomato-shaped timer. However, the concept of working in fixed time intervals with breaks is not entirely new, as traditional schooling often employs similar practices with the use of bells. Other methods, collectively referred to as ‘clock-work,’ also exist for working within specific time frames.

The Good

Advantages of Clock-Work:

  • Each work period becomes a manageable, bite-sized chunk, facilitating the initiation of challenging projects.
  • Short-term deadlines create focus and a sense of urgency.
  • Regular breaks maintain energy, attention, decision-making, and overall well-being.
  • Simplifies planning, as users treat the 25-minute stints as a unit for work planning and tracking.

The Bad

Drawbacks of Clock-Work:

  • No consensus on the ideal work length; recommendations range from 5 minutes to 2 hours.
  • Clock-work can hinder creativity and flexibility in more intellectual, creative tasks.
  • Conflicts with collaborative work, as others may not adhere to the same schedule.
  • Fails in emergencies and crises, where adherence to set intervals may be impractical.

An Alternative Approach: Introducing Third Time

The rigidity of clock-work methods, such as Pomodoro, prompted the development of a more flexible technique called Third Time. Here’s how it works:

  • Work for as long or as short as you like, until you feel the need for a break.
  • Take a break for up to one-third of the time you’ve just worked.

This approach allows you to adapt your work to meetings, calls, and interruptions, providing complete flexibility. However, the imposed limit on breaks ensures that you’re working for at least three-quarters of the day.

For a detailed overview of the Third Time technique, check out this post. And if you still appreciate aspects of Pomodoro, Third Time can be used alongside it to address its shortcomings.

Focumon! is a gamified focus timer where productivity becomes an adventure. Begin a co-working / co-studying journey with 1,000+ Focumon trainers!