Organising your time

A timer

Listen to the radio interview about the Pomodoro Technique and do the exercises to practise and improve your listening skills.


Do the preparation exercise before you listen. Then do the other exercises to check your understanding.

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Host: On 'Star Students' today we're speaking to Peter, who is going to tell us about the Pomodoro Technique, a system to help manage your time. It was invented by an Italian man called Francesco Cirillo in the 1980s. Now, he called it the Pomodoro Technique after a tomato-shaped timer that his mother used to use when she was cooking. Pomodoro is Italian for tomato. And this tomato has helped Peter become an A-grade student. So, Peter, welcome to the studio.

Peter: Thanks.

Host: Tell us about the Pomodoro Technique. What's it about?

Peter: It's about getting maximum productivity from your available time. I use it for studying, but professionals use it at work.

Host: Is it difficult to follow?

Peter: No. It's actually very simple. It's about breaking down your work into separate jobs and then using a timer to separate your time into periods of intensive work and short breaks.

Host: OK, well, that sounds sensible. So, how do you start?

Peter: First of all, you should think about the task you need to complete. For example, writing an essay for homework. You need to think about all the stages of the task and write a clear to-do list on a piece of paper. When you are ready to start you set the timer to 25 minutes and you start working on the first item on the list.

Host: OK … but what happens when the timer goes off?

Peter: When the timer goes off you must take a short break of between 3 to 5 minutes. One 25-minute session is one 'pomodoro' so when you have completed this, you deserve a short break. You should try to move about a bit during the break.

Then, set the timer for another 25 minutes and keep working. At the end of the next 'pomodoro' you have another short break. As you complete the items on the 'to-do' list you should tick them off, to give you a feeling of satisfaction that you're getting the job done.

Host: OK … I get it. Can you use any timer? Most people have timers on their phones these days. Could you use that?

Peter: You could, but the danger is that then you can check messages on your phone or you start looking at apps. I use my dad's kitchen timer and I make sure I switch off my phone when I'm studying. I get so much more done. In the breaks I sometimes check my phone but only if I've completed some of the items on my to-do list.

Host: Three to five minutes isn't long for a break. Is that enough time?

Peter: Well, when you've had four or five short breaks you can take a longer break, and then you start again.

Host: And it works?

Peter: Yes, it works for me! It stops me wasting time. My work is much more effective when I use the timer. It's like short, intense periods of work. I actually get my homework done a lot quicker now, which leaves me more free time, so for me it works really well.

Host: Oh, I think I'll give it a try. Thanks so much for coming in, Peter.

Peter: You're welcome. Thanks for inviting me. 


Do you think the Pomodoro Technique sounds like a good idea?

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Submitted by platov on Sun, 10/01/2023 - 10:24

I think it's a good choose to repartive the time with "promodoro Technique" because we have more productive with this technique.

Submitted by Drago78 on Mon, 07/10/2023 - 18:58

I think it's a good technique for many people, even if I had never heard of it, but I've never managed to organize my time well and this kind of technique annoys me more than anything else. thing. But for "normal" people it's a very good technique.

Submitted by queumme on Wed, 07/05/2023 - 10:09

I’ve already tried this technique couple years ago, so I can assure it works well. Thanks to this article which reminded me about a Pomodoro Technique I will restore doing this study practice next school year. Using it makes you waste less time on studying, moreover doing it much more effectively. It helps organizing your time and being more productive. I recommend it.

Submitted by myo thu kha on Sat, 04/08/2023 - 03:38

It sounds great.

Submitted by myothukha on Fri, 04/07/2023 - 15:30

I used to use this method. After several attempts at trying to concentrate on my study, I found this method myself. At first, I was surprised that it was effective. After 2-3 weeks of using it, I felt like something had gone wrong. I noticed that I had been starting to do my tasks perfunctorily without dedicating myself to them. I just wanted my task to end early so that I could get more free time. To sum up, I think it's an effective technique for most people. But I don't think it is suitable for me. It isn't good for long-term motivation. But I would recommend everyone to try it. It is really efficient for people who have concentration problems.

Submitted by haydendemonlizard on Thu, 01/05/2023 - 15:52

I tried it for a while and it worked pretty well, but I haven't got the motivation to have a good studying routine for a long time

Submitted by Kurchanov on Fri, 10/22/2021 - 14:44

This is not a working diagram, I believe
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Submitted by Elpro202 on Tue, 07/27/2021 - 01:13

Yes, it is. I already know this technique. I'm not using it but I can assure that it's super effective because I know people that use this technique. I recomend it if you have concentration problems.
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Submitted by MuradYT on Wed, 06/16/2021 - 08:31

It's really good idea.

Submitted by Bacu03 on Mon, 02/01/2021 - 21:20

I think it‘s worth to try it. I'm too lazy to do things anyway, but I'm sure that it can work for most people.

Submitted by Kindless9 on Mon, 02/01/2021 - 06:10

I personally will try this technique. It’s hard for me to manage my time and usually I’m doing things on last minute. This is definitely a good idea that’s worth to try. It’s good time saver and also you will be more concentrated on doing your task.
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Submitted by VencaFaradenza on Mon, 01/25/2021 - 17:05

I don not think, that this method might be bad for someone, but it does not suit me personally, so I would not use it.

Submitted by sponceandrade on Wed, 01/06/2021 - 19:20

During a large time I have been searching an effective time organize method because I used to lost time with irrelevant thing until I found Pomodoro technique. I started to use it and at the beginning it was difficult because I distracted me with new things but next to 2 weeks, I aplicated totally the technique in my life and in the end of the day I had free time to warch a movie, cooking, help to my father or start other homework. I love this technique, it changed my life.

Submitted by Moony on Sat, 09/05/2020 - 15:14

Yes, in my opinion it's a technique that it's really useful. I tried it once and work. I continue practicing this technique just that in longer periods of time and less breaks.
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Submitted by Xuka on Sun, 08/30/2020 - 17:06

I think the Pomodoro Technique sounds like a good idea. It is an incredible training exercise for your concentration. The Pomodoro technique allows you to calculate the value of your time, plan your Pomodoro sessions accordingly, and then work to that plan to deliver a balanced outcome. This technique increases focus immensely when prescribed to correctly. It is also an effective way to achieve a balance between quantity and quality, and all you have to do is focus for 25 minutes at a time.

Submitted by cookiepg on Wed, 08/26/2020 - 01:59

sound amazing
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Submitted by Caspiterin89 on Fri, 08/07/2020 - 09:41

I research for a long time trying to find a good study method and I think for me pomodoro technique isn't the best method. When I study in a really focused way certain times I don't want to break my concentration with a pause, and other times when I feel distracted or tired I wanna have the break before the scheduled time. So for me the best method is to have a "time bank" where you have all your "rest minutes" for e.g. 20 minutes for two hours of studying, and basically you can use your 20 minutes of break when you want. Is a simple but effective method: really flexible and adaptable. You put 20 minutes on your timer and when you start your "rest time" you play your timer. Peace Caspiterin89

Submitted by helenblack on Thu, 08/06/2020 - 14:30

I have never heard the Pomodoro Technique but when I learned, I was very interested! As soon as possible, I am thinking of using this technique.

Submitted by Mamou1 on Wed, 07/22/2020 - 09:59

Personally, for the person who don't know how to organize their time, the pomodoro technique can help them work effectively and avoid wasting time. But in other way I think it not a good idea for the people who already know how to organize their time. So if they want to work more than twenty-five minute before to stop work for 5 minute the pomodoro is not useful.
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Submitted by Andrii on Tue, 06/30/2020 - 09:31

I think that it's really good idea because I have a big problem with wasting my time. For example, I do my homework and hear a ring of message. I take my phone and look check messages, but I've already forgotten about my homework. But with the Pomodoro Technique it won't be a problem.

Submitted by chowi on Wed, 04/15/2020 - 14:55

I think its a good idea , it is really traditional and thats good for us to disconnect a little bit of our networks and focus on studying.We should all try it personally but in this times we have more apps that are like a little bit more effective in my opinion because they put you a time to study and block any other apps to you to not to get distracted

Submitted by tetelpoussin on Sun, 03/29/2020 - 21:28

I think this technique sounds like a good idea for persons who have some difficult to organize their times to work. So maybe it will be a exemple solution for them. But also, I think it can be a worse technique for persons who have their plan, schedule so it's meaning is they know how they must organize their times efficiently. Because Pomodoro technique is a rule already made by someone, not themselves.

Submitted by simmi on Fri, 03/13/2020 - 12:57

I try to use this technique, it is amazing!!!

Submitted by francesca_m on Sun, 03/08/2020 - 12:00

Yes, I do. I use a technique very similar to this but without using a timer. I can't wait to try it!

Submitted by anitafelix on Fri, 03/06/2020 - 10:07

anita_f I try to use this technique and I think it's a good idea

Submitted by Thu on Sat, 08/31/2019 - 03:51

It's sound like a good idea, but where can I find that. In my place, there isn't anything like that. :

Submitted by popovserhii on Wed, 07/10/2019 - 03:26

The transcript has some mistakes. The below, the first line is real text in the transcript and the second one is what it really is on the audio: - Welcome, Peter. - So Peter, welcome to the studio. - Most people have timers on their phones these days, can you use that? - Most people have timers on their phones these days, COULD you use that? - You could, but the danger is that then you check messages on your phone... - You could, but the danger is that then you CAN check messages on your phone...
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Submitted by Jo - Coordinator on Thu, 07/11/2019 - 08:37

Hi popovserhii. Oh yes, you're right! I'm not sure what happened there but thank you very much for pointing that out. Our transcripts should be exactly what they say in the audio. I will update that and make sure it is all correct. Well done for noticing that and I hope you're enjoying LearnEnglish Teens!  Best wishes, Jo

In reply to by popovserhii

Submitted by Mihael on Sun, 01/27/2019 - 17:37

I just know about this technique, where I can find Pomodoro timer? :( I think it will work for me
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Submitted by carrotilya on Sun, 11/18/2018 - 08:39

Ok I agree with this idea, but I have my own method how to organize time, I like to play online games in the evenings, so I decided to wake up earlier that I can, so I have more spare time in evening.
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Submitted by carrotilya on Sun, 11/18/2018 - 08:30

Ok, I agree with this idaea.

Submitted by Sevchik2002 on Wed, 04/04/2018 - 11:19

i think that it is a very good idea because it cane help you to be more active. i like this idea
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Submitted by the_alchemist on Tue, 04/03/2018 - 15:06

Of course, I do and I'm going to apply this technique from now.
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Submitted by bilko on Sun, 02/11/2018 - 16:59

I havent heard about "Pomodoro Technique" before and ı am not sure about it's usefulness but managing time is an important aspect of success...
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