Set a timer for twenty-five minutes. While the timer is running, focus entirely on work; don’t engage with distractions such as texting or checking social media. At the end of twenty-five minutes, when you hear the alarm, take a five-minute break to do whatever you feel like: respond to a few emails, take a bathroom break, do a quick meditation. Set your timer to ensure that the break doesn’t exceed five minutes. After four twenty-five-minute sessions, take a longer break (fifteen to thirty minutes), to restore your energy and mental sharpness.

Some people find it helpful to stick precisely to the timings dictated by the timer. They stop work even if they are in the middle of a sentence, and restart the moment the five minutes are up. Others prefer to give themselves a little flexibility, while still maintaining the basic framework.

Digital Pomodoro timers are easy to find, or you can simply use the alarm on your phone, while some people find it helpful to use a physical timer. At first, the Pomodoro approach can feel rigid, but those who stick with it generally find that it enhances their productivity considerably. You may want to give yourself a few sessions to experiment with it, and try to find a rhythm that works for you.