Are you EFFICIENT with your researcher-writer tasks? The Pomodoro task management technique will tell you! Details . . .

Update (01/4/2014): I’ve come up with a way to do S.M.A.R.T. pomodoros. I do them at orkanizer.com and it really WORKS for focus, briskness, and momentum for me. Kanbanflow.com is another great tool. Very simple to use, it marries the pomodoro technique with the kanban philosophy of project management.

Greetings, fellow fledgling blossomers!

How are you? I hope this post finds you well!

So, for the past few weeks I have been using the Pomodoro technique to test whether it could help me increase/improve my handle on time and task management. I do okay (I’m a hard worker), but could do better. Evidence = the slowness of my progress. I’m grateful to have any progress, don’t get me wrong! I just recognize that I need to examine my productivity, especially if I’m going to be a researcher-professor at some point. I learned about the Pomodoro technique at http://www.phinished.org, where it is referenced a lot.

I downloaded specifically the Pomodairo from http://pomodairo.en.softonic.com/.

Let me just say, “Yeah. Yes.”

The best thing about documenting my usage of time via the Pomodoro technique is that I’m seeing and thus understanding that I REALLY need to up my efficiency quotient. Taking two tomatoes (25-minute work periods) to create a working bibliography for just a small section of my paper? Not the most efficient use of time. And it’s good to have that “feedback” (knowledge) so that I can recognize the need to put concerted effort into working more efficiently during each tomato. Before, I would have just thought “I’ve been good: I just spent ONE WHOLE HOUR working on this section of my paper.” Yeah, but was it efficient work? How productive are you REALLY being, Mickey? In this regard, the Pomodoro technique is a VERY helpful monitor.

Also, with the Pomodoro technique, taking breaks becomes a VERY explicit move. That is VERY useful for the person who thinks, “I know I said I’d straight WRITE for the next 25 minutes, but let me get online and verify this resource. Oops! I’m online. Hmm . . . let me check my Facebook account really quickly to see if so-and-so posted that research book title I need. It’s all research-related, so it’s all good, right?”

No. That’s the problem. It’s NOT all good. Writing time needs to be writing time. I think that’s where I’m finding the Pomodoro technique most useful: It’s forcing me to reflect on how I REALLY use my time, not how I had planned to use my time (but might not necessarily have done so).

To learn about the Pomodoro technique for tackling a task and monitoring efficiency, please check out the following link:  http://www.pomodorotechnique.com.

Since you’re busy (wink), once there, please click on the Resources and Testimonials link. It’ll give you  an overview and let you know if the Pomodoro technique is something in which you might be interested and whether you should spend any time investigating it further.

To explore this technique with minimal commitment, give it a spin at http://mytomatoes.com, where you can privately track, time, and document your “tomatoes” (Pomodoro activities).

If you find that this technique is really working for you, consider a desktop version, such as the one I use–the Pomodairo available from http://pomodairo.en.softonic.com/.

Regardless, give us your opinion: Helpful? A time waster and yet another distraction? You have a better way? Just do the work–and leave the Pomodoro technique alone? You’ve tried it and find it a godsend? We want to know what you think! So . . .

What Say You?

  1. What resources, quotes, mindsets, habits, activities, etc. have you used to successfully gain a handle on time and task management?
  2. Have you had success with the Pomodoro technique? If so, how EXACTLY do you do your tomatoes? Do you do it digitally, or just physically by hand? Do you do a blend of a digital and physical process? Do you write something down on paper? How do you time yourself if not using a digital app? What advice do you have for GETTING THE MOST OUT OF THE POMODORO TECHNIQUE?
  3. Finally, in general, what is your BEST time and task management advice?

As always, thanks for stopping by. Your contributions are valuable!!!

BLESSINGS!

Mickey

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