Friday, January 22, 2010

Time for Timer

I've always envied those writers who sit down and crank out hundreds of words for hours on end. That's not the way my brain works. I'm more of a sprinter: write for short bursts of time, then do something else for a while--invoicing, filing, go for a run, etc.

So, the other day on the Wall Street Journal, I came across a review of time management/organizational techniques. The Pomodoro Technique description caught my eye for its simplicity: You set a timer for 25 minutes, after which you've earned a 5-minute break. (I downloaded the ebook but haven't read it yet...I'm wondering if I even need to.) There are several Mac Dashboard widgets to accomplish the task, but I chose "Egg Timer," which pings you with verbal message when it expires. Mine says, "Time to check the Pomodoro."

Also on the WSJ recommendation, I also purchased a copy of "Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity," and it's an interesting read so far. It's designed to be a "whole-life" organizer, and I particularly like the ways in which it departs from the standard Franklin Planner method, which never really worked for me.


  1. I am a sprinter, too. I've heard of Pomodoro. I think that's pretty much how I work, anyway, only I use tasks instead of time. When I complete task xxxx I will take a break. Of course, sometimes the breaks run long, but that's an entirely different problem :)

  2. STW, I've always tended to work task-style, too. And in all honesty, my breaks aren't timed to the exact second, either. *working on it*

    What I was seeking was a way to instill discipline on bigger projects that require more than one concerted work-bout. As a runner, it's mentally how I look at a half-marathon: a series of progressively faster 5Ks.