Pomodoro Revisited

Broken record, I know, but I can’t ever stop talking about how important and life changing the adapting of the Pomodoro technique has become to me.

The Pomodoro technique is why my relationship with time is so good and functional, it’s how I get shit done. Without it, I’d be hopeless.

As romantic of a notion I find it, writing for hours on end, losing myself in my cleaning (lol as if) or looking up from my work and seeing that it’s been past five: That’s not how my brain works.

My brain needs blocks of time to work in.

I wrote about the book here, and how I use it here. Since that last article is 5 years ago (!), I figured I’d write an update on how and when I use it now.

THE BASIC POMODORO RULES

Rule: A Pomodoro is 30 minutes long, a 25-minute time block of uninterrupted Pure Work and a 5 minute break.

Rule: It is indivisible, the atomic unit of time is a Pomodoro.

Rule: You cannot keep going after the buzzer, even if you think you can complete your task in them. (Confession: I break this rule all the time)

Rule: Every 4 Pomodoros, stop the activity and take a longer break: 15 to 30 minutes. Don’t do anything too complex because it really needs to be a break-break.

Rule: Through recording and tracking (so you write down your Pomodoros, how many you did, how good you were at estimating how long things would take, you improve the process.

MY CUSTOMISED RULES

Rule: A Self Help Hipster Pomodoro is 25 minutes long, a 20-minute time block of uninterrupted Go Time, and a 5 minute break for Youtube, peeing, getting tea and petting a cat.

Rule: A Self Help Hipster Pomodoro is aided by the Pomodoro Timer app on her MacBook Air, and FocusKeeper on her phone (depending on what the task is).

Rule: A Self Help Hipster Pomodoro Set is 3 Pomodoro’s, because that’s 60 minutes of uninterrupted work total, with 15 minutes worth of breaks.

Rule: A Self Help Hipster Pomodoro gets tracked in the Passion Planner, as to practice as well as gain insight in how much work has been put into something and how long certain tasks take.

HOW I USE IT IN MY DAY-TO-DAY

  • I work with a regular to-do list, I don’t use the official Pomodoro worksheets (where you also put down a tick everytime you are distracted – good method but doesn’t work for me)
  • At work I use it for administrative tasks or writing policy stuff that I’ve been dreading (I can do anything for 20 minutes)
  • At home I use my laptop and my noise canceling headphones with Spotify playlists to focus during my Pomodoros of writing or working, but I also use it for cleaning, doing laundry and menial tasks around the house. The 20 minutes always makes it nice and manageable, whatever it is that I wanted or needed to do.
  • I also recommend it to students and colleagues who need a time management system that’s easy to use.

I’m still so happy with the Pomodoro technique, and credit a lot of my output to it. It’s also a very easy way to create and train your work ethic, which is why I recommend it often and use it often.

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