“Eat That Frog With a Pomodoro”

Noor Al Ain Tahir
5 min readAug 21, 2020


Human beings have been procrastinating for centuries. The problem is so timeless, in fact, that ancient Greek philosophers like Socrates and Aristotle developed a word to describe this type of behavior: Akrasia.
Procrastination is the act of delaying or postponing a task or set of tasks. So, whether you refer to it as procrastination or akrasia or something else, it is the force that prevents you from following through on what you set out to do.

Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him. (Charles Dickens)

Okay, so why do we procrastinate? Let’s see it this way, imagine you have two versions of yourself: The future one and the present one. When you set goals for yourself ; like exercising or learning how to drive or to read a book; you’re envisioning how your future will be. Here comes the role of the Future Self- the vision you have in mind or the plan you have made. The Future Self can only set goals, the main work comes down to the Present Self- this is the processing unit. When the time comes to make a decision or to take action, your brain is doing all of those for your Present Self. The Present Self likes instant gratification, not long term pay-off.

So, basically, your Future and Present Self are at war. The Future Self wants you to have your own car and comfortably drive to and from work while your Present Self says, “Hey we can always call an Uber and you can catch some extra sleep while you’re stuck in a traffic jam!”

This is your Present Self in defensive mode.

Every problem has an effective solution. This one has got many but I got to learn about a fun and interesting technique to get my work done in the minimum amount of time.

The Pomodoro Technique:

It is a time management technique developed by Francesco Cirillo in the 1980s. Pomodoro means “tomato” in Italian after the tomato-shaped kitchen timer that Cirillo used as a university student. Many different applications have adopted it and will provide you a digital pomodoro timer. The technique uses a timer to break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks.

There are six steps in the original technique:

1- Decide on the task to be done.
2- Set the pomodoro timer (traditionally to 25 minutes).
3- Work on the task.
4- End work when the timer rings and put a check-mark on a piece of paper.
5- If you have fewer than four check-marks, take a short break (3–5 minutes) and then return to step 2; otherwise continue to step 6.
6- After four pomodoros, take a longer break (15–30 minutes), reset your check-mark count to zero, then go to step 1.

How Did I Apply Pomodoro Technique?

I had a grand test this week and being a pro procrastinator, I left the practice till the last week. So, the gratification monkey was steering my brain for more than 2 weeks and when the panic monster came out, my rational decision maker got its own position back. But my decision maker wasn’t making any rational decisions anymore, I was in full panic mode and the only thing I could do was to list down the most important questions and print them on my mind.

This was mind mind, 2 weeks prior to the grand test.
This is my mind 3 days prior to the grand test.

The process:

First of all, I had to calm my mind down. Panicking only makes things worse, so I sat down, took a deep breath, viewed everything on a wider perspective to get some positivity in me. There came a teensy bit of a ray, lighting my way towards a better end. Though it was difficult to focus, but i kept going on and promised myself to not give up. I opened up the syllabus and wrote it down in bullet points so I can easily cut down what I’ve down and see what is still left to do.

My finalized list for the Endgame, I mean for the preparation of Grand test.

My Experience:

I have lack of time management skills. It always ruins things for me and I’m left on doing things on the deadline. This experience was really good for me. I broke down the list and noted the time that how long I took to complete my task. It also gave me a better view of how much time do I take to solve one problem. I accomplished more after using this technique as I got some free time on my hand due to which i got to relax myself and my mind before the big day.

My experience

As you can see, it took me more than 25 minutes to do some chapters but I took a breather after every 25 minutes. I noted this time down to calculate my efficiency and to manage my time in a better way. I got to learn where I get stuck the most and on which problems I’m good at.

Will I use this technique again? Definitely. It not only helped me in managing my time, it also helped me to discover in what topics I need more practice so that I would consume less time. Overall, it was a really good experience and I will recommend it to everyone out there struggling with time management and procrastination.