Adopting the Pomodoro Technique

Categories goal, productivity

I’ve known about time-boxing and the Pomodoro Technique for a long time. I’ve even tried to implement it twice…. I didn’t succeed… so now I’m enforcing it.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

What the technique boils down to:

  • Keep all tasks that have to be completed today in a To-Do list – I already do this so it’s zero cost
  • Work in a 25 minute time-box (called a “pomodoro” – named after the tomato-shaped kitchen timer 🙂 )
  • After each pomodoro take a short break
  • After 4 pomodoros take a longer break

That’s all. It’s brain dead simple… like all good things.

There are some other small rules, like never splitting a pomodoro and voiding a pomodoro if you get interrupted

The reasoning behind this technique is to increase your focus and concentration by having isolated timeboxes. It also helps you concentrate on the flow of your work, allowing you to work uninterruped and giving you time to rethink things after the breaks.

In the past I’ve tried to implement it using a “hardware pomodoro” – a real kitchen timer. It felt strange carrying it around and using it everywhere I worked… although they say that having a real pomodoro increases your confidence and desire to take action and I think this was one of the reasons of abandonment so I’m going with a software solution this time.

Since I always have my phone around with me I decided that using an Android application instead of a Windows (laptop-bound) application is the best choice.

After looking around on the Android Marketplace and testing a few apps I decided on the Pomodroido app.

Some highlights:

  • Small footprint: 150k app with under 10MB memory usage
  • Configurable pomodoro and break duration
  • Task names
  • Ticking timer 🙂
  • Useful hints and achievement system – gamification always keeps me going
  • Tracking

While not a goal in itself, Pomodoro will help me in my other goals.

Goal: increase productivity


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