Mondays are productivity days at SimpleProductivity blog.
“I’ve completed five Pomodoros so far today.” The status from a friend on Facebook stopped me cold. Not because I didn’t know what Pomodoros are, but because I never figured my programmer friend would ever use them.
Timers are one of my best friends when it comes to keeping on track. In fact, as I write this article, I am using the Instant Boss timer to keep me on track.
The beauty of timers is that they keep part of your mind focused on your work. Flylady says “You can do anything for 15 minutes” and I have found that to be true. When the timer is going, I know there is a break in the near future, and I can concentrate on my work, knowing that I will have a chance to do whatever I want soon.
What Are Pomodoros?
The Pomodoro Method takes its name from the tomato-shaped timer. In this method, you spend 25 minutes working on something, then you get a 4 minute break. It’s a good way to keep focused for tasks that require focus of a minimum of 15 minutes to make significant progress.
I have been known to use this method when I really need to power through a programming task, but just don’t have the inner drive to do it.
However, I find that sometimes 25 minutes is just too long.
The (10+2)*5 Method
My preferred method is the (10+2)*5 method. This gives me 50 minutes of work per hour, interspersed with 2 minute breaks. I find that this works best for me on things that don’t require a lot of concentration.
Things like writing blog articles, doing routine tasks, and filing are all things that I can do with the 10 minute slots. Plus I get 2 minutes of watching the Elecams!
How Can You Use Timers?
My shock with my friend’s comment is not that he was using such a great technique, but that I had never considered that people would use it at work (even though I do). So my thought for the day to you is to ask, what could you use timers on to help you get through your work (professional or otherwise)?
Photo by miheco