Her latest attempt to get me a little more organized uses a technique I’d never heard of before. If small is beautiful and less is more, then the Pomodoro Technique is not a fad. It works. Mostly.
The Fruit And Veggie Timer
Let me start by telling you first what I know about the Pomodoro Technique. Obviously, after my wife explained it to me I thought it was a time management technique invented by some Italian guy named Pomodoro.
Oh, the limited depths of my knowledge. The technique is simple. Use a timer, a simple kitchen timer will work, to break down tasks into intervals of about 25-minutes, but with a break in-between.
Who wants to carry a kitchen timer around all the time? That’s where Tomato Timer comes in. It’s an inexpensive Mac app that walks you through all five basic steps of the Pomodoro Technique.
First, you have to decide on the task you need to accomplish and make it active in Tomato Timer.
Then, set the timer to 25-minutes (or, whatever time period suits you best– be careful– 21 days not allowed).
Third, start working on the task until the timer rings. Fourth, take a break (the part I like the best; except for the Fifth step).
What’s step #5? You’ll love this.
Every four work periods, which adds up to about every two hours if you play Pomodoro by the book, take a longer break (I recommend half an hour).
As you can see, there’s not much going on with Tomato Timer, and the Pomodoro Technique couldn’t be much easier to master.
Therein lies the rub. Getting into Pomodoro is easy enough because the rules are simple. Keeping at it is the challenge, but if you stick to setting up tasks, set the timer, do the work, take the break, then you’ll end up more productive.
That five minute break at the end of the 25-minute period of working on a task reminds me too much of Pavlov’s Dog. It’s kinda the same thing. Both have an alarm, and both give something as a reward.