There’s an old adage I learned when I was a teenager in school. It went something like this, “Performance measured is performance improved.” I heard it from a jock former-boyfriend who wanted me to track his exercises. He exercised. I watched.
The idea, though, is this– if what you do is measured, you can improve performance. That’s true in sports, it’s true in the business world, in education, and in our personal lives– provided you can find a good way to measure what you do and how much time it takes. Here’s a Pomodoro tool for your Mac, iPhone, and iPad that works the way you want it to work.
Time Isn’t Always Money
The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method that’s been around a few decades. It takes a standard tomato kitchen timer and uses it to improve performance by focusing on time for work tasks and breaks. Work on a project, take a break. Rinse, repeat.
Similarly, the Pomodoro Timer app for the Mac is a simple way to focus on getting tasks done, and taking breaks at the appropriate time; which improves performance and thinking.
The way it works is quite simple. Setup a task. Assign a time for the work (25 minutes is default) and a break after so many minutes (15 minutes works well, but so does 5 minutes).
This clever little app helps you manage tasks and time, tracks progress on tasks and projects, and you control the duration of each work period and break, as well as how many ‘pomodoros’ are between each break.
Our days are busy and full of interruptions so Pomodoro Time has an option to pause, then stop, or even skip work periods (also known as pomodoros).
Nearly everything about Pomodoro Timer is customizable to match your work flow but still give you the benefit of the technique.
For example, you control the duration for pomodoro and breaks. Setup whatever number of pomodoros you want for a day. Use global keyboard shortcuts to start and stop as needed.
And, here’s what sold me. There’s a Pomodoro Timer for Mac, iPhone, and iPad, and it keeps workflow nicely synchronized between devices.
All the apps work much the same way, similar interface, similar expectations, similar results.
The only negative, and it’s not Pomodoro Timer’s fault, is that it takes some effort and discipline to get started and use Pomodoro Timer appropriately, but, performance measured is performance improved. It works. But it’s the old issue of ‘plan your work, work your plan.’