Experiment 42

Pomodoro timer

What does it involve?

Use a timer to apply the Pomodoro technique—breaking down work into regular short intervals, separated by micro breaks. Start out by identifying what you want to focus on for the next period of time, then set the timer and only do that until the timer stops. Then take a short break (make a tea, walk around the block, chat to a colleague) before repeating the process again. Every 4 sessions take a longer break.

From batch 3 of our weekly series of Lab Tests

Each week we release two new experiments from the Digital Habit Lab, launching on Kickstarter later this year.

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Why do it?

  • Always knowing what you should be working on at any given moment really helps you spot when you are becoming distracted.
  • Make big tasks less daunting by splitting them into lots of smaller bits and dealing with them one at a time.
  • Planning out your days and weeks becomes easier, reducing stress as a result.
  • Become more accountable for your time, avoiding the feeling that you have got to the end of the day but you are not really sure what you accomplished.


  • Experiment with different lengths of time for your sessions and breaks. 25 minute session, 5 minute break is a popular format, but it's really about finding what works best for you!
  • Use the short breaks as opportunities to move your body—you could even split up a light work out routine over a whole day in small chunks...