(Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

Do you struggle with procrastination? You might really be noticing it this month as you try to tackle some of those New Year’s resolutions you made. Working from home can also be a procrastination pitfall. The good news is that getting over the procrastination hump may be easier than you think thanks to an expert-developed method that can help you accomplish more without experiencing burnout. Do you have a kitchen timer?

According to Suggest, Francesco Cirillo created the “Pomodoro Technique” while he was a student in the late-1980s. He became aware that his study sessions weren’t producing enough results, so he came up with a solution. It all started with his tomato-shaped kitchen timer. That’s why Cirillo calls his time management system “pomodoro,” the Italian word for tomato.

Cirillo set his kitchen timer for 25 minutes. He then focused for the determined time and followed it with a short break of two to five minutes. Then repeat by resetting the timer for another 25 minutes and focusing on your next task. These bursts of productivity are called “pomodoros.”

After four work sessions (about two hours), Francesco Cirillo suggests taking a longer break of 15 to 30 minutes. Breaking things into smaller chunks helps you avoid feeling overwhelmed by a major task. Cirillo found that this strategy helped him get a lot more done. He has even written a book about it called The Pomodoro Technique.

You don’t have to use a kitchen timer, tomato-shaped or otherwise. The timer on your smartphone will work just as well. Just don’t get distracted by any apps when you’re setting it. Here are those steps again:

The Pomodoro Technique

  1. Choose a task.
  2. Set a timer for 25 minutes.
  3. Focus on the task until the timer goes off.
  4. Take a short break (two to five minutes).
  5. Repeat four times (these bursts of productivity are called “pomodoros”).
  6. Take a longer break after four work sessions (15-30 minutes).

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