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Anyone use the Pomodoro Technique?

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Blog entry by Out_In_The_Shop posted 08-09-2018 08:03 PM 626 reads 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I find myself having a bit of a hard time staying focused some days and I’ve been looking into ways to be more productive with my (limited) shop time. On Instagram today April Wilkerson mentioned using the Pomodoro Technique and it piqued my interest big time, basically it’s working focused for 25 minutes and then taking a 5 minute break, after 4 of these 25 minute focused work sessions (each session is called a pomodoro) you take a longer 15-30 minute break. It seems to be exactly what I need, I’ll be giving it a shot after work tonight – I’m just curious if anyone else here uses this technique and if so, do you like it? Does it work? Any tips or advice? If you don’t use this technique, what other things do you do to stay productive in the shop?

Here’s more info on the technique – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pomodoro_Technique

-- Out_in_the_Shop



14 comments so far

View Rich's profile

Rich

3342 posts in 673 days


#1 posted 08-09-2018 09:22 PM

It’s been around a while. I don’t see how it can work in the shop though, since when the time comes to stop, you might be in the middle of something critical that you can’t step away from like applying a coat of finish. Also, it’s usually managed with some sort of alarm to let you know when to stop, and that might not be heard over the noise of machines in the shop.

I know some offices — mostly IT types — have implemented forms of it where everyone stands up and stretches periodically. I have no clue how well it worked out for them, but given my experiences in environments like that, it likely fell by the wayside in a pretty short time (but some HR jerk got a bonus and promotion for implementing it).

For me, I just find points at which it’s convenient to step away and go do something else — like I’m doing now, posting on LJ. This time of year in Tucson, it’s easy to find times to get out of the heat anyway.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View Out_In_The_Shop's profile

Out_In_The_Shop

30 posts in 23 days


#2 posted 08-09-2018 09:46 PM



It s been around a while. I don t see how it can work in the shop though, since when the time comes to stop, you might be in the middle of something critical that you can t step away from like applying a coat of finish. Also, it s usually managed with some sort of alarm to let you know when to stop, and that might not be heard over the noise of machines in the shop.

I know some offices — mostly IT types — have implemented forms of it where everyone stands up and stretches periodically. I have no clue how well it worked out for them, but given my experiences in environments like that, it likely fell by the wayside in a pretty short time (but some HR jerk got a bonus and promotion for implementing it).

For me, I just find points at which it s convenient to step away and go do something else — like I m doing now, posting on LJ. This time of year in Tucson, it s easy to find times to get out of the heat anyway.

- Rich

I’m actually kind of surprised I haven’t heard about it before today, but I’m glad I did. I agree with you to an extent, from what I read people who are in the zone on something when the timer beeps they skip the break and double up on the next time which seems feasible. You raise good points though, and there certainly are times in a project that this system will likely cause more issues than solve, but for me I really just find myself being way less productive than I know I’m capable of – so this technique will be a good way to have dedicated “do nothing but be productive” time and brief breaks to check my phone or grab a snack or whatever. I’ll be trying it for sure for a week or two to see if it gets my shop time more efficient/productive. My issue is I seem to find a lot of convenient times to step away lol

-- Out_in_the_Shop

View AandCstyle's profile

AandCstyle

3135 posts in 2340 days


#3 posted 08-09-2018 10:07 PM

Out, when I am working on a project, I make a mental list of the steps I hope to accomplish during the time available and then work my way through the list. Usually, I don’t complete that day’s list, but that doesn’t bother me because I am not trying to support myself with woodworking. YMMV

-- Art

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

8031 posts in 2881 days


#4 posted 08-09-2018 11:01 PM

I’m with Rich. I don’t think it’s for my shop anyway.

BTW, is this technique Italian? If not why not just call it the tomato technique?

Just sayin’

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese! http://thecanadianschooloffrenchmarquetry.com/

View ChuckV's profile

ChuckV

3152 posts in 3611 days


#5 posted 08-09-2018 11:35 PM



I’m with Rich. I don’t think it’s for my shop anyway.

BTW, is this technique Italian? If not why not just call it the tomato technique?

Just sayin

- shipwright

Yes, suddenly I’ve got a hankerin’ for some pasta!

-- “Big man, pig man, ha ha, charade you are.” ― R. Waters

View ElroyD's profile

ElroyD

100 posts in 671 days


#6 posted 08-09-2018 11:41 PM

It works pretty well for me through most of my day. I’m a Stay at Home Dad, so my 25 minutes shift from task to task, but I do find myself getting more done. I’ll work on cleaning for 25 minutes, relax a bit, then do some woodworking for 25 minutes, take a break to check emails for a few, then 25 minutes of yard work, etc. and so on. I’m constantly interrupted by my kids, so breaking things down into short time spans helps me keep things under control and still be able to help the kids with whatever they need.

-- Elroy

View Rich's profile

Rich

3342 posts in 673 days


#7 posted 08-10-2018 12:15 AM


I’m with Rich. I don’t think it’s for my shop anyway.

BTW, is this technique Italian? If not why not just call it the tomato technique?

Just sayin

- shipwright

Yes, suddenly I ve got a hankerin for some pasta!

- ChuckV

Interesting. I did step away from the shop today to make some marinara. I can say from experience that Pomodoro works best with San Marzano tomatoes.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

8031 posts in 2881 days


#8 posted 08-10-2018 01:55 AM

San Marzanos are the worlds best Pomodori!

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese! http://thecanadianschooloffrenchmarquetry.com/

View KimAccurso's profile

KimAccurso

174 posts in 224 days


#9 posted 08-10-2018 10:43 PM



San Marzanos are the worlds best Pomodori!

- shipwright


Which are the best to make pasta sauce with for my special recipe – I am pulling some everyday waiting for enough to make a big batch! :) I don’t know, you guys, if I get a day in the shop I’ll head out there and before I know it – it’s 5-oclock – beverage time – . Time flies when you are having fun, right?

Do you try having several projects going at one time so when you feel you need a break from one you work on another?

-- Kim - imperfection is the pursuit of perfection

View EEngineer's profile

EEngineer

1113 posts in 3697 days


#10 posted 08-11-2018 12:02 AM

…have implemented forms of it where everyone stands up and stretches periodically. I have no clue how well it worked out for them, but given my experiences in environments like that, it likely fell by the wayside in a pretty short time (but some HR jerk got a bonus and promotion for implementing it)

Amen, brudder, amen!

Most of this crap doesn’t have any application in the real world, but it allows promotion of idiots who never had to do a real day of work in their lives!

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

View Rich's profile

Rich

3342 posts in 673 days


#11 posted 08-11-2018 12:08 AM


Do you try having several projects going at one time so when you feel you need a break from one you work on another?

- KimAccurso

Interesting point. Yes, I usually have two or three things going at a time. That way, while the finish dries on one thing, I can be milling another — or whatever. I use Todoist to manage my days. It has a nice feature that allows you to create project templates so when you start something you’ve done before, you just import the template into a new project and all of the task’s schedules come in with it, with their dates set relative to the original schedule. I don’t try to manage my hours during the day though, just tasks I want to accomplish on a given day. If I don’t get one done, no big deal, I just select it and the remaining tasks in the project and postpone one day to move them all back. Works well for me.

Now, a public service announcement. Speaking of San Marzano tomatoes. Be careful. There is a San Marzano brand that, when you read the fine print, says they are San Marzano “style” grown in the USA. You can see it below. Also, some say that if it doesn’t say D.O.P (Denominazione d’ Origine Protetta), they aren’t as good and might not be genuine. The fact is, just like USDA grading in meat, it’s optional and some producers choose not to pay the fee to get certified. It does not mean it’s an inferior product. My favorite brand is not labeled D.O.P. and I find it to be superior to some brands which are labeled.

I’ll do a PSA for Hatch chiles sometime in the future :)

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View Rich's profile

Rich

3342 posts in 673 days


#12 posted 08-11-2018 12:10 AM

Dang. I quoted when I meant to edit. Move along… nothing to see here.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

8031 posts in 2881 days


#13 posted 08-11-2018 12:54 AM

Topic one:
I always have more than one front going so that time is not wasted waiting for glue etc.

Topic two:
Interesting that the USA tomatoes above have different descriptions. Apparently the first one only has one large tomato in it. (pomodoro) The second has more than one (pomodori). :-)
The best grow on the slopes of Vesuvio.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese! http://thecanadianschooloffrenchmarquetry.com/

View ronniebo's profile

ronniebo

129 posts in 2749 days


#14 posted 08-13-2018 11:39 PM

Rn`t these breaks called tea breaks. I can vouch for them—-just like sleeping on a problem and somehow???? the answers are there in the morning.

R

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