In 1987, then-college student and future developer and entrepreneur Francesco Cirillo created the Pomodoro Technique. Inspired by a red timer shaped like a tomato (pomodoro in Italian), the technique involves 25-minute periods concentrated on work, followed by five-minute breaks. Engross, a time management app, is built around the methodology in order to help people stay focused and on schedule during the workday.
Time management is a conundrum almost all of us deal with daily. A 2021 study published in peer-reviewed journal Nature Communications reveals that mind wandering can happen spontaneously without our knowledge or will. The researchers found that it's difficult for individuals to maintain attention on a task for long periods. That means that, theoretically, people are thinking about something other than work every workday. To help users stay on task, the app features a customizable Pomodoro timer, a planner, and reminders for various tasks throughout the day.
Users can also set the app to block distracting notifications and alerts while one of their timed sessions is in progress. The focus timer features a "Hit me when you are distracted" button to keep you honest—tap the button and the app will show you a supportive message to get you through your remaining focus time. In addition, the app keeps a record of the number of times you lose focus per session so you can track your progress over time.