I want to thank fellow Maui Rubyist Justin Gordon for introducing me to the Pomodoro technique. The pomodoro technique is a time management method where you use a timer to work in 25 minute intervals with short breaks. The principle is that focus and will are easier to manage in small sprints. Trying to keep focused for hours at a time leads to dimishing returns. This is complicated by having all of the Internet at our fingers to provide distraction. It’s easier to mentally commit yourself to a task if you know that you have a break coming. It’s also easier to get back on track if you have a timer that alerts you that you have been already blown 10 minutes mindlessly scrolling Twitter. A short (3–5 minutes) rest separates consecutive pomodoros. Four pomodoros form a set. A longer (15–30 minute) rest is taken between sets.
While a simple mechanical kitchen timer can work for this, Justin put together an simple clean iOS app that helped you practice this method. It’s not out the App store yet, but it has really proved useful for me.
I’d recommend this technique to anyone. It’s all about working within the limitations of our motivation and building an environment conclusive to flow.