Being a developer is a different job than any other. You can often work in hours that suits you, even late in the night. You can often work from any place in the world. But with huge advantages comes disadvantages as well. With all of this flexibility comes some efficiency troubles. Let the first throw the rock who never had a problem of leaving the work for later and it became too late. How many times you did another break to check your facebook, eat a snack or something else?
Nowadays it’s problem not only for developers but for everyone working remotely on home office.
Pomodoro technique – a strong response for developer’s and home office troubles.
Pomodoro technique takes its name from kitchen timer in shape of tomato of its inventor – Francesco Cirillo.
Pomodoro technique is a way of organizing your work so any distractors won’t influence it. Thanks to it you won’t work more. You will just work more effectively.
While using this method you will work in intervals – usually 25 minutes for work, 5 min for a break and 15-20 minutes for a long break. These intervals consisting of work and break is what we call Pomodoro. After each 4 Pomodoros you are supposed to take a longer break.
But don’t worry. If you preferer longer or shorter intervals. It’s up to you. 🙂
How to use Pomodoro Technique?
- Write down a list of tasks for the day ie. write some code, set a webpage, check the e-mails, call a customer. You can also divide bigger tasks into smaller like instead of writing a webpage- just set up be subpage, instead of writing an article – write down the first part of an article, etc.
- Set your tasks from most important to least, or with the closest deadline to those with further deadline. It has to fit your needs.
- Find yourself a tool to count you the time. It can be either a timer in your phone, a kitchen timer, like the one that the idea came from, or any else. Personally, we advise to use timers created especially for Pomodoro Technique. They are easy to use and you can set everything in advance before starting the timer.
Some tools that we recommend:
- https://pomofocus.io/ – user-friendly interface, looks good and is easy in use. Let’s you to set list of task, save templates and much more. The best one in our opinion.
- https://tomato-timer.com/ lets you set the timer, use some of the keyboard shortcuts and uses desktop notifications
- https://pomodoro-tracker.com/ lets you skip pomodoros if you finish the tasks faster, set categories of tasks and more
- Set the timer and start your work! Remember to not check any notifications or change the subject. If you come up with any idea that may be useful for you, quickly write it down to come back to it in next Pomodoros. Get rid of distractions fast and focus on your actual task.
- Make the most out of your break. Remember that the word break is not without a reason in this technique. During short periods between work you should let your body and mind rest. So do something totally different, for example few pushups, stretch, take a walk, etc. Don’t watch tv or check social media. Move yourself!
- Repeat. Do interval after interval unless you finish 4 Pomodoros. Then it’s time for a bigger break. You deserve a nice reward for your work and keeping Pomodoro 😉
You can work Pomodoro all day long, do several Pomodoros sessions a day or how you like it. The most important thing is to fit it to your needs.
Tips for making Pomodoro effective
- As every method it should be suited for you so don’t hesitate to change the times, number of Pomodors, etc. While setting the times think how long you can let yourself don’t answer the phone, texts etc.
- Think about switching off notifications for some apps like Slack, CI/CD, system notifications or even switching on the flight mode in devices in which it is possible for you.
- Set timetables or schedule with your homemates when you don’t interrupt each other (as far as it is possible).
- Close e-mail apps that send notifications.
- Install apps to limit your access to certain pages or apps. Here you can find a list of examples of those apps.
- Close browser tabs that don’t correspond to your job.
I can guarantee you that using this technique even very once in a while if you set it properly for yourself will make a huge effective difference for any developer!
P.S. Remember that Pomodoro is not a method for everyone. Some people prefer to use it only a few days a week or a month instead of everyday, so try out for yourself and suit it up to you!