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What to Do During Pomodoro Breaks: ADHDer's Guide

Aug 9, 2023

When it comes to maximizing productivity and focus, knowing what to do during Pomodoro breaks is crucial especially for people with ADHD who really benefit from breaks. The Pomodoro Technique offers a structured approach to managing time by breaking work into focused intervals followed by short breaks. These short pauses can provide the perfect opportunity for activities that rejuvenate your mind and body.

In this blog post, we'll explore various ways to maximize the benefits of short Pomodoro breaks with activities that range from energizing to physically stimulating. You'll discover how tidying up your workspace or engaging in brain-stimulating puzzles can enhance your overall productivity during these brief intermissions.

We will also discuss ideas for longer 20-to-30-minute breaks when needed, ensuring that you have a comprehensive understanding of what to do during Pomodoro breaks so you can optimize both work efficiency and mental well-being.

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Table of Contents

Quick and Energizing 5-Minute Break Activities

During short Pomodoro breaks, it's essential to engage in activities that help you recharge without consuming too much time. These quick yet effective break ideas will ensure your mind stays sharp and focused throughout the day.

Grab a healthy snack or drink for an energy boost

Fueling your body with nutritious snacks can provide the energy needed to maintain productivity levels during work sessions. Consider grabbing a piece of fruit, yogurt, or nuts as they are easy-to-digest options that won't leave you feeling sluggish.

Practice meditation to improve mental clarity

Meditation is recognized for its capacity to alleviate stress and heighten concentration. Taking just five minutes during your break to practice mindfulness can significantly impact your overall well-being. 

Try out our 5 minute meditation for Focus and Creativity

Unleash creativity through drawing or origami

Creative outlets such as drawing or origami not only serve as enjoyable pastimes but also help keep the brain active between tasks. Keep some paper handy at your workspace so you can quickly doodle or fold when taking breaks - check out these drawing exercises from Leonardo da Vinci .

Listen to motivational songs for anxiety relief

Pump up jams: Listening to upbeat music can help boost your mood and energy levels. Create a playlist of songs that make you feel motivated and play it during breaks. If you need inspiration, check out our article on 18 upbeat songs for brain breaks.

Relaxing tunes: Alternatively, if you're feeling overwhelmed or anxious, opt for calming melodies to help soothe your nerves. 

The Focus Bear app includes a focus music feature with tracks that are designed to be calming and help boost concentration.

Screenshot of the ADHD App: Focus Bear's Music feature, allowing users to listen to binaural beats for enhanced focus and concentration
Key Takeaway: During short Pomodoro breaks, it's important to take quick yet effective activities that will help recharge your batteries and keep you sharp. Grab a healthy snack or drink for an energy boost, practice meditation to improve mental clarity, unleash creativity through drawing or origami, and listen to motivational songs for anxiety relief - all of which can be done in just five minutes.

Physical Movement during Pomodoro Breaks

Incorporating physical activity into your break routine can provide numerous benefits, such as increased focus and reduced stress levels. Consider these simple exercises that can be done at home or in the office.

Stretch Your Muscles to Release Tension

Take a brief period to extend your muscles for the purpose of decreasing strain and enhancing blood flow. Focus Bear can help remind you to stretch at regular intervals.

Screenshot of the ADHD App: Focus Bear's video guide demonstrating mindful meditation, promoting relaxation and mental clarity

Performing these brief motions can help you to be more tranquil and attentive when you come back to your tasks.

Play Fetch with Your Pet if Working from Home

If you're working remotely, use this opportunity to bond with your furry friend while also getting some exercise. Playing fetch with your pet not only helps them burn off energy but also allows you both to enjoy some fresh air together. This brief interaction will leave both of you feeling refreshed and ready for the next round of tasks.

Try Juggling as a Form of Active Meditation

Juggling might seem like an unusual choice for a break activity, but it's actually an effective form of active meditation that improves hand-eye coordination and concentration skills. Start by juggling two balls before progressing onto three or more - there are plenty of online tutorials available if needed. As you practice juggling during breaks, notice how it helps clear your mind while simultaneously sharpening focus on the task at hand.

Key Takeaway: Taking regular breaks is essential for those with ADHD to stay productive, so why not use them as an opportunity to incorporate physical activity? Try stretching your muscles or playing fetch with a pet at home; alternatively, juggling can be used as an effective form of active meditation.

Tidying Up Your Workspace on Short Breaks

Maintaining a tidy workspace is key for being productive, especially when employing the Pomodoro technique. Use brief moments during breaks to tackle small cleaning tasks while also fostering social interactions. Here are some simple ways to keep your work area neat and organized during short Pomodoro breaks.

Focus Bear can help remind you to make tidying part of your breaks.

Screenshot of the ADHD App: Focus Bear's video guide demonstrating how to tidy up the desk as part of the ADHD evening routine

Dispose of Trash Around Your Desk Area

Clutter can be distracting and hinder your focus, so take advantage of those quick 5-minute breaks to dispose of any trash or unnecessary items around your desk. This includes empty coffee cups, snack wrappers, and old sticky notes that no longer serve a purpose. By keeping your workspace tidy, you'll create an environment conducive to concentration and productivity. For more tips on decluttering your space effectively, check out this Lifehack article.

Wipe Down Surfaces for Cleanliness

A clean work surface not only looks better but also promotes good health by reducing germs' spread in shared spaces like offices or co-working environments. During one of your short breaks throughout the day, grab some disinfectant wipes or a damp cloth with mild soap solution & give surfaces such as keyboards desks mouse pads light wipe down removing dust dirt grime build-up over time. If working from home consider investing in a quality air purifier to help maintain healthy indoor atmosphere.

  • Note: Make sure you follow the manufacturer's instructions for cleaning electronic devices to avoid damage.

Short interludes to arrange your workspace can assist you in staying efficient and orderly. Utilizing these intervals, why not try tackling some thought-provoking challenges to give your brain a lift?

Key Takeaway: Using short Pomodoro breaks to tidy up your workspace is a great way to stay productive, healthy and focused. Dispose of trash, wipe down surfaces with disinfectant wipes or mild soap solution and consider investing in an air purifier for extra health benefits. Practice proper hygiene etiquette when cleaning electronics as well.

Brain-Stimulating Puzzles and Games

Engaging in puzzles or games during breaks not only offers entertainment but also helps enhance cognitive function over time. Explore these stimulating options perfect for short intervals between work sessions.

Solve Rubik's Cube Challenges

A Rubik's Cube is a classic puzzle that challenges your brain to think spatially and logically. To sharpen your mental acuity, use the cube to work out your brain during a Pomodoro break - testing its logical and spatial capabilities. During your Pomodoro break, spend some time working on the cube to give your mind a different kind of workout while still keeping it active.

Jump Rope as Both Exercise and Brain Stimulation

Jumping rope is an excellent way to get both physical exercise and mental stimulation during your break. It requires coordination, timing, concentration, and rhythm - making it a fun yet challenging activity that keeps you engaged mentally while providing cardiovascular benefits physically. Plus, jumping rope doesn't require much space or equipment; just grab a jump rope from any sports store or online retailer, find an open area with enough room for swinging the rope around you without hitting anything nearby.

Incorporating brain-stimulating puzzles and games into your Pomodoro breaks can help you stay sharp, focused, and energized throughout the day. By challenging yourself with these activities during short intervals between work sessions, you'll be better equipped to tackle your tasks with renewed vigor when it's time to get back on track.

Key Takeaway: Engaging in brain-stimulating activities during Pomodoro breaks, like solving puzzles and skipping rope, can help maintain alertness and vigor throughout the day.

Longer 20-to 30-Minute Break Ideas

After completing four Pomodoros cycles, take advantage of longer breaks by engaging in more extended activities unrelated to work projects/tasks which refreshes both mind & body effectively before diving back into another round of focused effort. Here are some ideas for your longer breaks:

Take a Walk Outside

Taking a walk outside not only helps you stretch your legs and get some fresh air but also provides mental clarity and reduces stress. Use this time to disconnect from technology and enjoy the natural surroundings.

Squeeze in a Quick Workout Session

A short workout can do wonders for recharging your energy levels during an extended break. Try incorporating bodyweight exercises, yoga, or even dancing to keep yourself active without needing any special equipment.

Screenshot of the ADHD App: Focus Bear's reminder feature, prompting users to take a break for enhanced productivity and well-being.

Catch Up on Personal Tasks or Errands

  • Grocery shopping: Make use of the break to replenish your pantry with healthy snacks that will fuel you throughout the day.
  • Bills payment: Clear pending bills so they don't distract you while working later on.
  • Emails and messages: Responding to personal emails or texts can help maintain relationships without eating into work time.

Nourish Your Mind with Reading or Podcasts

Pick up an interesting book, listen to an informative podcast, or watch a TED talk that sparks curiosity during your break. These activities can stimulate your mind and provide a refreshing change of pace from work-related tasks.

Practice Mindfulness or Meditation

Engaging in activities such as deep breathing or guided meditation during longer breaks can help to bring your attention back and reduce stress levels. Investigate different directed meditations to discover the one that best suits your needs.

Remember, it's essential to make the most out of these extended breaks by engaging in activities that recharge both your body and mind before diving back into another round of focused effort with Focus Bear.

Key Takeaway: To make the most of longer Pomodoro breaks, take a walk outside to get some fresh air and disconnect from technology; squeeze in a quick workout session at home with bodyweight exercises or yoga; catch up on personal tasks like grocery shopping, bills payment and email messages; nourish your mind with reading or podcasts; and practice mindfulness meditation for mental clarity. Refuel yourself during these extended breaks to stay productive.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do during my Pomodoro break?

During your Pomodoro break, engage in activities that help you relax and recharge. Consider taking a walk, stretching or exercising, reading something interesting or educational, listening to music or podcasts, or practicing meditation and mindfulness techniques.

What to do during 5-minute study breaks?

For a 5-minute study break, choose quick yet effective activities such as deep breathing exercises, doing simple stretches at your desk, drinking water or having a healthy snack. You can also briefly chat with someone nearby for social interaction.

What do people on Reddit say you should do during Pomodoro breaks?

As well as being a way to waste hours of time, Reddit can be a goldmine of excellent strategies. Redditors often suggest various activities for Pomodoro breaks like going outside for fresh air and sunlight exposure; engaging in physical activity like push-ups; tidying up the workspace; preparing snacks; refilling water bottles; checking messages without getting distracted by other content on the device.

Can you read during a Pomodoro break?

It may not be optimal during a 5 minute break as you really want to use that time to let your mind wander and come up with new ideas. Reading is a focused activity and is probably better used in a 30 minute break. Choose materials that are enjoyable and light-hearted rather than dense texts which might be mentally exhausting. This helps refresh your mind before diving back into focused work sessions.


The Pomodoro approach can be a fantastic aid for productivity and concentration, yet it is significant to recognize that pauses are equally essential. Regular breaks are necessary for reducing stress and improving overall well-being, so take the time to do something relaxing during them. During these breaks, consider taking a walk outside, stretching or exercising, reading something interesting or educational, listening to music or podcasts, meditating or practicing mindfulness techniques - whatever works best for you. All of these activities will give your mind time away from work so that when you come back refreshed after each break you'll be able to do during pomodoro breaks more effectively than before.

Take control of your productivity and self-improvement with Focus Bear! Use our app to stay focused during pomodoro breaks and make the most out of each day.

Aug 9, 2023

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