You have heard, "you are what you eat," when you were growing up, and later on you might have heard the more fruits and vegetables one consumes, the more likely it is that dopamine is produced, affecting your motivation and engagement in positive ways.

But it is the tomato, specifically, that can really work wonders for your productivity.

Granted, the key is not to eat copious amounts of tomatoes. In fact, the key is not related to eating them at all.

Named after the tomato-shaped kitchen timer Francesco Cirillo used in university (Pomodoro is Italian for tomato), the Pomodoro Technique is a personal system and time management technique that helps you beat procrastination and distraction.

Cirillo created the technique as a means of getting more studying done, but you can apply it to any activity that has a deadline or any work you'd like to finally get done.

It's simple: break down work that needs completion into short, timed intervals (these are called Pomodoros), and space these intervals out with short breaks.

Set your timer to 25 minutes, work until the timer rings, and then put a tally mark down, to signify the completion of one Pomodoro. Take a 5 minute break, and repeat until you have finished 4 Pomodoros. After 4, pause working for a longer break (15-30 minutes) before you start your next 25-minute session of productivity and increased focus.

It is advised that if you get distracted during the middle of one Pomodoro, you either deal with the distraction only after the 25 minutes is up, or you stop and restart the Pomodoro again completely after dealing with the distraction.

Regular breaks are known to be highly important for productivity, and having timed work intervals can even help you improve your concentration and attention span.

There are a number of apps and websites with Pomodoro-style timers, so take your pick! No matter which platform you use for this technique, you may find yourself being efficient in ways you have never experienced -- all because of a tomato.

Published on: May 1, 2018
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