Pomodoro and Incremental Improvements

March 10, 2011


Productivity in General

Recently I have been increasing interested in productivity. Currently I spent a large proportion of the working day in front of a computer. The challenge has been to maximise the amount I get done but minimise the amount of time required to do this.

Enter Pomodoro

From http://www.pomodorotechnique.com/

The basic unit of work in the Pomodoro Technique can be split in five simple steps:

  • Choose a task to be accomplished
  • Set the Pomodoro to 25 minutes (the Pomodoro is the timer)
  • Work on the task until the Pomodoro rings, then put a check on your sheet of paper
  • Take a short break (5 minutes is OK)
  • Every 4 Pomodoros take a longer break

The beauty of this is the simplicity of this compared to other productivity system. (GTD)

The key to success here is not getting distracted whilst working on the Pomodoro and respecting breaks, even if you are in ‘the zone’.

I currently use this timer for OSX.

For Linux and Windows fans there is this great air app that works as a pomodoro timer.

Small Improvements to Existing Habits

I have also found that making small incremental improvements to daily habits quite beneficial. The time savings on a daily basis are relatively small but these small savings really add up over time.


  • Learning to properly touch type.
  • Memorizing / printing out bus timetables for hassle free public transport.
  • Finding annoying things which take time in your daily workflow and improving these processes. (eg. improving bash aliases to make your project workflow more powerful.)