Tomatoes To Keep Your Time On Track

Who knew tomatoes could help you with time management?

Do you ever find yourself struggling to focus on one task at a time? Technology today affords us the opportunity to be distracted by notifications coming from every direction, both personally and professionally. We may get plagued by the FOMO syndrome so strongly that we fear any disconnection will prove to be our social status downfall. I’m also sure I’m not the only one who seems to be constantly thumbing through her to-do list.


“She writes to-do lists for her to-do lists.” Thanks, Kate Spade. I’m guilty as charged.

Here’s where tomatoes come to save the day.

Sure, tomatoes are one of the healthiest foods out there, despite the fact that debate will forever exist on whether it is a fruit or a vegetable. (Edit: for those who didn’t know, it is indeed a fruit. 🙂 )  Lycopene is an antioxidant found in tomatoes, which evidence suggests helps protect against damage to cells that can contribute to dementia and Alzheimer’s, but that’s not what I’m here to talk about today.

Enter the Pomodoro Technique. A lovely, inspiring, rockstar of a gal by the name of Julia Roy spoke about the technique at a digital summit I attended last fall and I have been obsessed ever since. Francesco Cirillo created this technique in the 1980s, naming it Pomodoro after the tomato-shaped timer that he used. (Pro tip: POMODORO is TOMATO, in Italian.)


  1. Determine the task you need to accomplish.
  2. Set your timer to a set number of minutes, traditionally 25. I recommend this online tomato timer.
  3. Work on the task, distraction-free, until the timer rings.
  4. Take a short break, 3-5 minutes.
  5. After four sequences of the pomodoro, take a longer break, traditionally 10 or so minutes.


  1. It breaks down your workday into easier-to-digest bits. Before you know it, your clock will chime 5:00PM and you will feel so accomplished.
  2. It allows you to dedicate time to serving one project at a time. I often have multiple projects in several pipelines to manage at any given time. This technique helps me commit at least a little bit of time to each project, every day.
  3. It’s easy and fun. Pomodoro helps you maximize your productivity, power through distractions, hunker down on one task at a time, all while taking sufficient breaks. Consider it like training for a mind marathon. Distractions are inevitable; firestorms will come your way that need your immediate attention. It’s not a perfect system but it is certainly helpful.

Ready to give it a try? Let me know what you think!


The Post Grad Gal


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