How many pomodoros do you need to get in the zone?

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If you have been following me, you know that I am currently at the writing stage of my PhD.

Writing can be scary….

I have often felt intimidated and nervous about finally writing my thesis because it tends to look like this huge and burdensome thing to get done. 

Which is why I have also procrastinated on it.

Even if you have written notes, done mind maps and published papers during the years of your PhD, putting it all together and actually getting your thesis done is a different story!

Overcoming the fear of writing

Therefore, I am constantly looking for new strategies to improve my writing habits, so that not only I am able to be more productive but that it also becomes a more enjoyable process

There is usually the impression that to accomplish this task, it is mandatory to spend exhausting endless hours on the computer.

Do you know what I’m talking about? Can you relate?

The truth is, it doesn’t have to be that way!

Trying out new writing strategies

The last thing I’ve tried is the so-called “Pomodoro Technique“, which basically consists on setting a kitchen timer to 25 minutes and work consistently during that period of time with no interruptions. 

I had originally heard of such an approach from the painless PhD top 10 tips.

I have applied it by just setting the timer on my phone to 25 minutes, concentrate on one specific activity (writing) and cutting off distractions like email, social media, etc. Then, I take a 5-minute break and continue with the next 25 minutes. After 2 hours it’s good to take a longer break.

Pomodoro technique for PhD writing

What I like about it

I have found this approach to be useful because:

  • It eliminates the stress of feeling forced to sit on the computer for extended periods of time.
  • You’re more likely to remain energized instead of being fatigued while you write.
  • It is so much easier to discipline yourself to remain focused for 25 minutes than for a few hours.
  • It is a relieve to monotask (we tend to multitask mistakenly thinking that’s the way to optimal productivity).
  • By being limited in the amount of time to develop a certain idea or section of the manuscript, you are intuitively forced to get to the point faster. So, the overall thinking process improves.

Getting in the zone

Sometimes, you’re feeling extra inspired or creative. You might start with a pomodoro and end up losing track of time and writing many more words than you aimed for. 

That’s awesome! You don’t need to force yourself to stop if it feels natural and spontaneous. 

I think it is good to use this approach to discipline yourself and to get you going, BUT remain flexible enough to go on when you recognize that you got in the zone.


Whatever works for you is fine!

Of course, not everyone recommends this approach.

Remember that everyone is different, and at the end of the day, what is important is what works for YOU.

If you have your own approach and feel comfortable with it, then good for you!

I personally wanted to improve my writing habits and started trying out new strategies. 

I found this useful and it has helped me. 

If you are not happy with your current writing habits you might give it a try and see how it goes. 

Let me know what you think!

I have some Q’s for you:

- How do you approach the writing process? Do you have a special technique that you find useful?
– Have you tried the pomodoro technique? Do you like it? Why?

Use the comment section below to share your insights!

Happy writing & lots of love,


Follow Victoria Sanchez:

Hi, I'm Victoria and I'm glad that you're here and enjoy the content on this website. I'm a biologist, flamenco dancer and spiritual coach. If you are interested in any of these topics, would like to work with me or just want to say "hi", send an email to

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