Friday, March 2, 2012

Pomodairo: A Cute Way To Stay On Target


Let's face it, procrastination is a reality that most of us deal with at one point or another. There are a zillion and one ways to deal with it and put into practice methods and techniques that will help us overcome it.


In truth, I don't really think we can overcome it, and I also don't think we entirely should. Just as life is what happens when we are busy making other plans, our bodies and minds tell us when it's time to do important things, and when it's time to do anything but those important things.


One of the great secrets of doing, well, anything that requires focus is the willingness to get your head in the game, and do so for a specific length of time. There's lots of approaches to this. My favorite is Merlin Mann's (10+2)x5 Procrastination Hack, which I've talked about before (10 minutes of focus, 2 minutes of break, done successively five times}. At the end of it, you have 50 minutes of focused work and 10 minutes of distraction. The Pomodoro technique is built on the same idea, except that it uses 25 minute periods of focus and 5 minute periods of break.


This is all an elaborate way to tell you about a timer that I downloaded called "Pomodairo". It's an app that runs on my Mac, and it allows for setting time periods that will make the focused time and break time calculations, whether I go with a classic Pomodoro interval or (10+2)x5 approach. Pomodairo is a Google project built on the Adobe Air platform. Pomodairo includes the timer, as well as the ability to construct task lists for the pomodoros. The application can also keep track of completed pomodoros, interruptions and other things that will help you actively track your time and focus during the day. Pomodairo also has the ability to synchronize tasks if you are using multiple computers.

Best of all, this is a freeware app (of course, if you like it, they have a Donate button to contribute to the cause).


Procrastination is real, but it doesn't have to sap all of your energy. Sometimes a little gimmick is all it takes to get focused and get into a zone to be productive. Pomodairo is a simple way to do exactly that.


For more about the Pomodoro technique of time management, go to
http://www.pomodorotechnique.com.
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