Staying focused: the pomodoro technique

How do I stay focused when life is full of distractions?

I’ve recently been trying the Pomodoro Technique, it’s Italian for tomato. It was created by an Italian guy who used his tomato shaped egg timer to create a technique to stay focused.

You simply chunk your time into 25 minute slots:

  • Work for 20 mins solid – jot down any distractions, but don’t follow them; then
  • Have a 5 minute break, where you can check your distractions
  • Every four “pomodoros” take a longer break (15-20 mins)

I’ve tried using this at work with reasonable success. The key is to break your work down into chunks that can be managed in 20 minutes. Once you have this down pat, you become really productive, and the time spent on distractions decreases over time.

How do you stay focused?