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My Productivity Secret

February 14, 2017

You know the drill, you just made your self a cup of coffee, you sit down at your desk and you are ready to crush your task at hand. 2 hours later, you are surprised by the time and how little you got done. If this has never happened to you, either you’re lying to yourself, or you should tell me your secrets :)

When you spend most your day on a computer, it’s very easy to get distracted. One minute you are googling an error message and the next you are checking out the newest JavaScript framework that just came out.

I’ve been there, many times.

While its fun and encouraged to read up on the newest tech, there are better times to do so, like not when you are trying to track down a fix to that pesky error message you keep seeing.

Enter the Pomodoro Technique.

GASP

I know, you were hoping for some crazy awesome super secret technique. Sorry about that.

If you have not heard of the Pomodoro Technique, read on :)

The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method created by Francesco Cirillo in the late 80’s. The name comes from the kitchen timer Francesco used which looks like a tomato (Pomodoro is tomato in Italian).

The premise is really simple. You set a timer for 25 minutes and focus on only one task during that time. If you think of something you have to do, write it down and keep working. Once the 25 minutes are up, you take a 5 minute break. Grab some coffee, take a short walk, etc. Mark down that you did one Pomodoro and then reset your timer for another 25 minutes. Every 4 Pomodoro’s you take a longer break, this can be around 20–30 minutes.

There are a lot of web apps and phone apps out there to help with timing and tracking your progress, along with the simple kitchen tomato timer itself.

If you spend a lot of time in the Terminal, like I do, I have created a little NPM module in order to help you Get Shit Done

I like to combine the Pomodoro Technique with over the ear headphones and music that is great for focusing. I tend to use Music For Programming or Brain.fm

It’s not a technique for everyone, but it has been a great help for me and my work.

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© 2020, Travis Werbelow

Have a great rest of your Sunday!