How To Use The Pomodoro Technique and Focus Blocks Day to Day

When it comes to “hacking” your schedule for more productivity, two techniques have supercharged my ability to get tasks done.

The Pomodoro Technique and Focus Blocks

Both of these techniques are easy to implement, yet so powerful when it comes to setting up your daily schedule.

In this article, I’ll teach you how I program my day for effective task execution and productivity using these two techniques.

The Pomodoro Technique and Focus Blocks

If you aren’t familiar with the Pomodoro technique or focus blocks, don’t be scared.

These techniques are merely ways to improve time management around essential tasks, so you can “eat the elephant” or even a plane like this guy.


The Pomodoro Technique

Invented by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980’s, the Pomodoro technique is a time management method for productivity.

The traditional method (and one that I do) is 25 minutes of work with 5 minutes off.

Variations of the method like to use anything around 15-25 minutes at a time (completing the half hour with the break.)

This is also something that the Productivity Planner by Intelligent Change uses for planning tasks.

Alike the Italian word Pomodoro (tomato) many apps can help with this, and I will link one below.

Remember: 25 minutes on | 5 Minutes Off

App: Focus Timer

Focus Blocks

On the other hand, when you have a more massive task or want to have deep work for longer, I like to use the Focus Block technique.

Focus blocks are 90 Minutes on with a 30-minute break.

That means while Pomodoro’s use 30 minutes each, focus blocks use 2 hours.

Focus blocks were popularized by Steve Pavlina (article here) and are supposed to be set up with the following structure:

  • Pick One Theme
  • Define the Finish Line
    • I.e., write and post this blog post
  • List the Action Steps
  • Ensure There Are No Interruptions
  • Work Fast
  • Allow No Distractions

Using this basic structure will lead to an incredibly productive focus block session.

Remember: 90 Minutes ON | 30 Minutes Off

How To Implement The Pomodoro Technique and Focus Block Day To Day

Now, while you can see how each of these techniques work above, you still may be wondering how to implement them into your day.

I like to use them both together, every day.

Although, they since they act differently, they should be for different tasks.

See Pomodoro’s are short and sweet, meaning they are perfect for quick tasks or anything that can be broken into bite-size chunks.

On the other hand, for more in-depth work, focus blocks and their two hour period make the most sense.

Here’s how I set up my day:

  1. Focus Blocks x 2
  2. Pomodoro’s x 4-8

That is an average workday.

Resulting in about 6-8 hours of work.

Although, as most people know, you aren’t in deep focus work for 6-8 hours a day.

That’s why I make sure to do focus blocks and deep work in the morning (metaphorically eating the frog) while putting off the less strenuous and less focus intensive Pomodoro based work for the evening.

In the video above, I go into how I segment my weeks (based on sprints) so make sure to watch that as well!

How This Fits into High Leverage Skills

What gets measured gets managed – Peter Drucker

This is an excellent quote about the high leverage skill of time management.

If you understand that your time is valuable (Time), then you know how important it is to manage your time well.

No, you don’t need to measure and manage everything in life, that’s an exaggeration.

Although, learning how to take control of your time, segment your day to what works for you, and really be productive is so important.

If you’ve got another time management based technique I’d love to check it out, so put it in the comments below.

Thanks for reading,


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