16 June 2010

The Pomodoro Technique

Having just read this blog post today, I am now so interested in this idea of measuring time in "pomodoros" to become more efficient and productive. What is a pomodoro? In a nutshell, it is a 25 minute block of time, marked by an actual timer, in which you commit to do one specific task without interruption until said timer rings. Then you abandon that task, take a five minute break and move on to the next pomodoro.

I have previously confessed what a terrible housekeeper I am, and have been searching for a system of daily organizing and tidying that doesn't overwhelm me after one day. I have tried several and abandoned them all, mostly because I just don't like to become a slave to a specific schedule of cleaning.

But at the same time, I know that when my house is tidy, I feel more calm, content, and am less likely to lose my temper with my children and husband. They certainly deserve that on a daily basis.

That's why I went out today and bought myself a portable timer. I first began using the timer on my microwave, but couldn't hear it beep at the other end of my small house, go figure. Just today alone I finished 5 different planned pomodoros including 25 minutes each of laundry, kitchen detail, playing with my kids, and general tidying up and removing household clutter.

After just one day, I already feel more productive. I think even the most mundane and annoying tasks are better handled when there is a visible end. I look forward to implementing this even more in the coming weeks.

Check out the whole program here. It is a free download, and very helpful.


Shannan said...


I do a certain version of this technique called "The Twenty Minute Cleanup". Okay, I invented taht title, but I, too, set the timer and do a task. The only problem is that my scope is TOO WIDE and BROAD - like I say,"clean up the entire kitchen for twenty minutes" and then of course that doesn't happen in twenty minutes and it takes an hour and I'm tired and frustrated at the end. So I'm going to take the idea you suggested and instead simplify it is ONE TASK like - do dishes or fold laundry and perhaps my cleanups will be much better. Thanks for the post!

ps - how is your garden doing in Eugene with this crazy weather?

Jessica said...

Love it. I think I will try this. Sometimes it all just seems too overwhelming but to break it into 25 minute chunks may be more manageable. Thanks Bean!