I’m not sure I really want to admit it, but there are days when I need it to keep focussed: that little tomato which tells me to stay on task.
The Pomodoro Technique is a method of time management which chunks time into periods of work, with little breaks in between. I first heard about it when one of my master students told the class he was using it to stay on task when he was writing his master’s thesis. I decided to have a little look, and downloaded My Little Pomodoro.
My Little Pomodoro is a simple and easy to use app. In many ways it’s just a pre-set stop watch, but somehow that little jumping tomato seems a bit more friendly than my stock alarm.
Time wise, it comes pre-set with a 25 minute work session, a 5 min short break, and a 15 min long break (the intention is that every fourth break should be a long break), but these intervals can be changed in the settings.
In addition to chunking your work flow, MLP can also track how much time you use on a particular task – this feature can offer a bit of a reality check in terms of how much (or little) time you need to complete a particular item on your to do list.
Personally, I don’t use it that often, but I pull it out on days when I have trouble concentrating and when I tend to diverge to journal sites or newspaper headings when I should be reading or writing. It feels a bit like someone standing over my shoulder when I need it, even if it’s only a virtual tomato.