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How to Get Focused With ADHD Using the Pomodoro Technique

Welcome back to DP’s health and wellness! Today, we’re diving into a game-changing technique for folks with ADHD: the Pomodoro technique. If you struggle with staying focused and motivated, this method might just be the solution you’ve been looking for.

What is the Pomodoro Technique?

The Pomodoro technique is a time management method that breaks down work into manageable chunks separated by short breaks. It’s designed to keep you focused and motivated throughout your tasks.

This technique was developed by Francesco Cirillo, and it gets its name from the tomato-shaped timer he used when he first started using the method. “Pomodoro” is actually Italian for tomato!

Here’s how it works:

  1. Set a timer for 25 minutes
  2. Work on your task until the timer goes off
  3. Take a short 5-minute break
  4. Repeat the process

After completing four Pomodoros (25-minute work sessions), you can take a longer break of 15-30 minutes.

Why is the Pomodoro Technique Helpful for ADHD?

Folks with ADHD often struggle with staying focused on a single task for long periods of time. Actually, I think most of us can relate to this struggle! It’s easy to get overwhelmed by a big project or task, leading to procrastination and lack of progress.

The Pomodoro technique addresses this challenge by giving your brain short bursts of activity, followed by mini breaks or rewards. By breaking your work down into smaller, more manageable chunks, the task feels less intimidating and daunting.

“Sometimes you can have a task and you just don’t even know where to start and you end up doing nothing. So by breaking it down into smaller chunks, it feels less intimidating, less daunting.”

In addition to making tasks feel more approachable, the Pomodoro technique can also improve your focus. Knowing that you only have to concentrate for 25 minutes allows you to channel your energy more efficiently. You can give your full attention to the task at hand without feeling like you have to sustain that focus indefinitely.

Another benefit of the Pomodoro technique is its ability to boost motivation. Each completed Pomodoro gives you a sense of accomplishment, which can keep you going throughout your work session. Seeing tangible progress, even in small increments, is a powerful motivator.

Dealing with Distractions: Inform, Negotiate, and Call Back

When using the Pomodoro technique, distractions can be your worst enemy – especially if you have ADHD. One strategy to combat this is called “Inform, Negotiate, and Call Back.”

Here’s how it works:

  1. Inform: If a distraction arises during your Pomodoro, acknowledge it and inform yourself that you’ll deal with it later. Write it down if needed.
  2. Negotiate: If the distraction is urgent, negotiate with yourself. Can it wait until your current Pomodoro is finished? If not, deal with it quickly and restart your Pomodoro.
  3. Call Back: After your Pomodoro is complete, call back to the distractions you noted. Address them during your break or schedule a time to deal with them later.

By using this strategy, you can minimize the impact of distractions and maintain your focus during your work sessions.

Tips for Successfully Implementing the Pomodoro Technique

  1. Choose the right task: The Pomodoro technique works best for tasks that require your full attention. If a task is too easy or too difficult, you may find it hard to stay focused for the full 25 minutes.
  2. Adjust the time intervals if needed: While 25 minutes is the standard Pomodoro length, feel free to adjust it based on your needs. Some people find 15 or 20-minute intervals more manageable.
  3. Use a physical timer: While there are plenty of Pomodoro apps available, using a physical timer can help minimize digital distractions.
  4. Take your breaks seriously: Resist the urge to push through your breaks. Stepping away from your work is crucial for maintaining focus and avoiding burnout.
  5. Be patient with yourself: Like any new habit, the Pomodoro technique may take some getting used to. Don’t get discouraged if it feels challenging at first – with practice, it will become more natural.
# Here's a simple Python script to run a Pomodoro timer:import timedef pomodoro_timer(minutes):seconds = minutes * 60while seconds > 0:print(f"{seconds // 60:02d}:{seconds % 60:02d}", end="\r")time.sleep(1)seconds -= 1print("Time's up!")print("Pomodoro Timer")while True:input("Press Enter to start a 25-minute Pomodoro...")pomodoro_timer(25)input("Take a 5-minute break. Press Enter to continue...")pomodoro_timer(5)


The Pomodoro technique is a simple yet powerful tool for managing your time and boosting your productivity. By breaking your work into focused, 25-minute intervals separated by short breaks, you can overcome the challenges of staying focused and motivated – even if you have ADHD.

Remember, the key to success with the Pomodoro technique is consistency and patience. Stick with it, even if it feels challenging at first, and you’ll likely find that it becomes an invaluable part of your workflow.

So why not give it a try? Grab a timer, break down your tasks, and start tackling them one Pomodoro at a time. You might be surprised at how much you can accomplish!