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Using The Pomodoro Technique as a Freelance Writer

Posted on 30 June 2017 by sam

As a freelance writer, it is very easy to drown in projects and forget to take breaks. Working continuously is not efficient, and you will find yourself drained of energy and inspiration, struggling to finish a task that usually would have taken less to complete. Exhaustion can make you lose your focus, make mistakes that you normally would not to and miss deadlines. For a freelance writer, this means unhappy customers, bad reviews, and lost contracts. You have worked so hard to get your hands on those online freelance writing jobs that it would be a shame to lose them like this.

Fortunately, there is a productivity tool that you can use to keep up your energy levels and the good work. The Pomodoro technique is, in fact, a timer which breaks down your work into smaller periods of time. You set the timer for a 25-minute period, and you focus on your task without interruption until the timer rings. The one who developed this technique is Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s, but it was only in 2006 when he published his book The Pomodoro Technique. The technique’s name comes from the kitchen timer Cirillo that he used, which is shaped like a tomato (pomodoro in Italian).

This time management method can boost the writing productivity for people with online writing jobs from home, and Cirillo believes that people are the most productive when they focus and work on 25-minute tasks, followed by 5-minute breaks. The 25-minute period is called a ‘pomodoro.’

How the Pomodoro Technique Works

The Pomodoro Technique helps you map out your entire work based on 25-minute periods and breaks. This involves not only planning, but also challenging yourself.  Here is how it works:

For every 25-minute period of work, you take a 5-minute break. After four sets you take a 15-30-minute break. Then start all over again.

According to Cirillo at the beginning of each day, you make a list of activities you want to complete and prioritize them. List each activity with an estimate of how many 25-minute breaks or pomodoros you will need to complete it. Then, as the day goes along, you have to track your activity and mark off each pomodoro and cross out activities once they’re done.

The technique has three evaluation stages: record, process and visualize. At the end of the day you will review your plan and determine what improvements you need to make in your writing practice.

How the Pomodoro Technique Can Help Authors

For many freelance writers writing a task in 25-minute periods is close to impossible, especially if you have a lengthy article, review, blog post or even a book. Although it might seem that this technique will complicate things instead of making them easier, give it a try. You can challenge yourself and try to write a certain number of words in a pomodoro or try to write more when you have a little bit of available time.

Useful tools

Instead of using a simple timer you can install some of the amazing apps out there, with lots of useful features.

Marinara Timer

This is a web app that you can keep open in a separate tab. Simply select the timer alerts so that you know when you should take a break or reconfigure the writing and break times to suit you.


This is a desktop Pomodoro timer app that you just start, and it will do the rest. You can also customize the app according to your work and break periods.


This app has more visual cues for your complete and coming up tasks, and it also lets you estimate how many pomodoros you need to finish a task.

Focus Timer

Focus Timer, previously known as PomodoroPro is a great app for iPhone and iPad. You have the freedom to customize your work and break periods and review work history. It shows you how your focus is improving and it offers a star-based rating system to help you stay motivated.

These are some of the apps that you can choose from. Experiment with all of them and see which one fits your needs.

The Pomodoro Technique is perfect for those with freelance writing jobs online, students, managers, lawyers, developers, directors, parents, teachers and any other persons who have to deal with creative work. The goal of this technique is to help you focus and get into the zone, but also to remind you to go out for air. Give it a try, and you might realize that it’s just what you were looking for.

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