Get a free video course on Writing and Mindset Click hereJoin my author mailing list

How a Tomato Can Change Your Life

My top ten time management tips

As I type this I’m listening to a tomato ticking on my desk! I’m blogging about my top ten time management techniques to celebrate the new edition of The Small Steps Guide to Goal Setting and Time Management. You can read the background here. A couple of days ago I gave you my number one time management technique. Here’s number two – as I’m away this week I’m resharing a post I wrote a while back.

A tomato can change your life

Did you know that a tomato can change your life? You haven’t tasted tomatoes until you’ve eaten spaghetti pomodoro made with tomatoes grown on the side of Mount Vesuvius, which is what we did when we went to Pompei a few years back. I don’t speak Italian but because spaghetti pomodoro is one of my favourite dishes, I did figure out that the Pomodoro Technique had to do with tomatoes when I first saw the term – although I didn’t know why until I looked it up. Just in case you aren’t one of the millions of people who’ve tried it, there’s a quick run down below. You can find out more about the technique on the Pomodoro website – in fact you can learn the essentials in just a couple of minutes.

You only need one tomato

The Pomodoro Technique really can change your life. Take one kitchen timer – the original was shaped like a tomato, hence the name – time yourself for 25 minutes and avoid all distractions (including online ones) until the time is up, then take a break. (Here’s a post I wrote a while back about the importance of taking time off.) You can even buy your own tomato-shaped kitchen timer. I’ve been through several. Think of one 25 min session like a mini block or chunk of time. You can use these chunks to build a longer project and to motivate yourself to turn up and to focus distraction-free.



  1. Turn everything off: phone, internet, computer, music, washing machine, TV (ok you’re allowed a light!) and sit staring into space for 5 minutes. How does it feel?
  2. Could you do nothing for 10 minutes? What about 15? 25?
  3. Try doing the same but spend the time writing in a notebook. What you write doesn’t matter. The only rule is: keep going.
  4. Combine the two by watching something for 25 mins then making notes in a notebook afterwards.

Let me know in the comments whether you enjoy using this technique.

More soon. Until then, happy writing,

Lou xx

P.S. Here’s the next post in the series – all about applying the pomodoro to a writing life.


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.