On Becoming a Certified Pomodoro Master
By Francesco Cirillo
While at a conference in 2005, I received the first official request from someone wanting to become a certified Pomodoro user.
He received a Pomodoro timer, a t-shirt, the Pomodoro Technique book, and in a very fun and simple way, was immediately conferred with the title "Certified Pomodoro Master" with the promise that once he had studied the technique, achieved the five required objectives at his own pace, and had successfully applied them to his own personal objectives (the sixth objective of the technique), he would send us some feedback on his experience applying the technique. The review arrived punctually, as agreed.
This request was very interesting to me and it made me reflect on my role as a methodologist. As an author, it took me several months of writing to ensure that the Pomodoro Technique was clear and could be easily understood, as well as ready to be applied within just a couple of Pomodoros (a requirement that I believe all time management techniques should have). It was important to not only be able to begin to apply the technique, but to also be able to assess its effectiveness in the shortest time possible. This is why I made an effort to include a path of incremental objectives as part of the technique.
The effort of any author of texts on productivity should be to make his method as effective as possible in a way that provides results as immediately as possible.
This is the reason why the technique’s method is based on incremental objectives: five defined by the technique and the last one open to personal areas of improvement.
Much can be discovered about yourself by reaching each objective one at a time, even after just the first one. In fact, you can learn how to make improvements at the end of each pomodoro.
The goal of the technique is to help those who use it to develop a pleasant way to systematically observe, track, and evaluate their time and enable them to make self-improvements.
The technique is based on five incremental objectives that one needs to attain in order to reach the sixth; that of achieving personal defined objectives and improvements.
The objectives of the technique are clearly described and it is easy to determine if one has achieved them or not. I worked hard to organize the technique in this way – to ensure that one could perform a self-assessment of the achievement of the objectives. Now, it’s your turn to work!
When possible, I believe that a methodology should provide a way that allows you to test yourself. This was the criteria I used when writing the Pomodoro Technique.
For me, the Pomodoro Technique has passed the test because I have had to directly teach the technique to no more than 10 people, and yet now there are many, many more who practice it, successfully achieving each of the six objectives described in the technique.
You can certify yourself by: reading, applying the technique, achieving each objective one at a time, at your own pace, and quickly making improvements that provide you with a systematic way to manage your time. If you are able to do this, then you are a "Certified Pomodoro Master".
If you can successfully reach each of the objectives, there is no need for (external) certification. That is to say, you do not need to pay someone to certify you.
This is what I mean by self-certification.
Just because the objectives are self-certifiable does not mean that they are easy to achieve. A single objective can require time and effort in order to be reached. But don’t forget – there’s an entire community ready to help and support you! There is also Pomodoro World, where you can read about other people’s experiences using the technique and even find specific examples based on the different objectives.
And in any case, remember: The next pomodoro will go better!
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