Why does Focus Pocus use the work/break cycle?

The “work/break” cycle is also known as The Pomodoro® Technique, which was developed by Francesco Cirillo in the 1980s.

We like the idea of set times to focus in on something specific that you have to do for a set amount of time and then taking a break to do something you want to do before going back to focusing on what you have to do.

Francesco Cirillo in his own words:

“I was a student at the university in 1987 and I had to take the sociology exam in September. I couldn’t keep my mind focused on my book. I was constantly getting distracted. I made a humble bet with myself: ‘Can you stay focused for two minutes without distraction?’ I went to the kitchen, grabbed a timer and came back to my table. The timer was red and shaped like a Pomodoro (tomato in English). I wound it up to two minutes and started reading my book. When the timer rang I had won my bet against Time. Surprised, I began to ask myself why it had worked? I gradually increased the amount of time when I set the timer. I got to one hour, but that was too much. I didn’t take too long to realize that, for a number of factors, the ideal unit of work was 25 minutes followed by a 2-5 minute break.

There, on that table in September 1987, I hadn’t noticed yet but for the first time I had managed to turn time into an ally. Exactly at the moment when Time appeared to be such a vicious predator to me I managed to stop in front of it, and still and afraid ask this simple question: “How can you, Time, be useful to me now?

For the first time I used time instead of running away from Time. I decided to use Time, spend it to take a break, favour my mental processes, allow my mind to organize the information it had acquired in the working time and put me in the best situation to start my next Pomodoro.”

Focus Pocus Coworking Club | The Pomodoro Technique: The Acclaimed Time-Management System That Has Transformed How We Work by Francesco Cirillo
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