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Thursday, September 6, 2018

Pomodoro Technique for Effective Time Management

I am sure all of us will be interested in getting some extra time each day. Pomodoro technique is a time management cum concentration improvement technique. As you will learn, it's a simple and easy technique with no sophistication associated with it.

The Technique

Pomodoro technique was developed by a software engineer named Francesco Cirillo. Essentially the technique is to do one thing at a time timed for 25 minutes and keeping away any distractions whatsoever. You pick up a task in hand, start a timer for 25 minutes and start doing it keeping away all other frills - be it persons or electronics. Distractions could mean anything from checking Facebook to humming your favorite song.

At the end of 25 minutes, you note down two things -- whether you were able to finish off what you started with and distractions you encountered, if any. It's important to keep a tap of any distractions you encounter during the 25 minutes. Once the designated 25 minutes is over, you either have finished the work or require more time. However you have consciously tried to focus on it alone as well as be aware of the distractions stopping you from achieving your goal.

Sprints and Retrospectives

After each 25 minutes sprint, you take a short break to rejuvenate yourself. Francesco recommends to take a longer break after four such twenty-five minutes sessions. A pomodoro session also acts as a tracking unit. You can check, how many sprints of 25 minutes does it take to complete your task. The inventor also suggests that, in case you are distracted by others or circumstances during a pomodoro session, we need to start again.

It take close parallels with agile principles that we follow in software development world. Getting a working model or prototype in short and quick sprints of time. It's also interesting, the name pomodoro comes from the tomato shaped timer, Francesco used to use. Pomodoro is the Italian word for tomato.

Pomodoro Apps

Since most of us are glued to either our laptop or mobile devices, one may look for an app doing this time keeping. I could find two such apps. Tomighty is an open source desktop timer based on pomodoro technique. It helps to keep track of sprints and break as suggested by the technique. If you are looking for an android app, plenty of timer apps based on this technique are available.

Have you used this or any other time management technique, what are your thoughts...?


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