Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Pomodoro Technique

Pomodoro Timer
(photo found by googling)
I'm testing out the Pomodoro Technique today in an effort to be more efficient... which seems counter-intuitive, because the technique is to work for 25 minutes (a "pomodoro") and then take a 5 minute break. Every four pomodoros you take a 15 minute break. There's this great timer that I've been using (and it works well with Chrome, always an added bonus). The idea is that you're more productive when you get breaks, which is why the reports that things like Google's Pac-Man doodle wasted 4.7 billion hours aren't super accurate. And that Pac-Man doodle is fantastic.
According to Wikipedia, the technique is named for the Italian word for tomato because of the shape of creator Francesco Cirillo's timer. (Why would anyone have a tomato-shaped timer? My best guess is that it was because it was the eighties.)
So far, it's been kind of difficult sticking to the timer. It's not that I just want the breaks longer; I have a hard time stopping in the middle of whatever Excel spreadsheet or report I'm doing. I really just like to finish what I'm doing before I move on to something else. 
However, it's almost 2:00 and I have to say, I think I'm a little less burned out than I usually am by this time. (You know that 2:30 feeling?)
Fred the Dinosaur
I also drew a dinosaur. I think I'll name him Fred.
What did I do for my 5 minute breaks? Well, I was trying to use Google's Web Lab because it seemed pretty cool, but the loading time used up like half of my 5 minutes. So instead, I checked my news feed on Facebook, wrote this, played Pac-Man, read a few articles, watched The Dark Knight Meets the Avengers, and checked out what Shakespeare's plays would look like with cats instead of people (which is just what you'd expect). And some other stuff, but it must have been pretty mindless because I don't remember exactly what it was.
And, in case you were wondering, I got through my entire to-do list.

Update: I definitely just had one of those "Whoa, it's already 4:45?" moments. I'd call today a success.

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