01 November 2009

Link of the day: The Pomodoro Technique

I can't remember where I found out about this technique (Lifehacker?), but the Pomodoro Technique seems like a very nice time management system. It was invented by Italian Francesco Cirillo, but his book on the system was only translated into English two years ago. From my speed reading of the text, the system has been tested with real subjects and shown to be effective. The main idea is to quantize time into 25-min chunks. During each chunk or "pomodoro", one focuses on a single task. The word pomodoro is Italian for tomato and comes from the fact that the first timer the author used was made to look like a tomato. The goal is to finish a certain number of pomodoros each day, say 8. I haven't tried the system, but the system seems to make time more manageable because you only have to keep track of 8 pomodoros instead of worrying about how much time you spent on each task, or losing sense of time and spending wrong amount time on a task (or worse wasting time on an unplanned activity). Cirillo claims that quantization changes our perception of time (which we normally think of as a continuum) and allows us to relax and focus on our work.

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