Kopi Princess <data:blog.pageTitle/> - Adding a little caffeine to your life

The Pomodoro Technique: It's time vs tomatoes
Saturday, May 4, 2013 posted at 5/04/2013 03:23:00 AM ♥ 0 comments

Image from Wikipedia
Human brain fascinates me. I'm always wondering how a mere 2 kg of meat in our head can handle the influx of information and data. For me it is a miracle. But in my case, too much information makes me feel dizzy and confused. At times, ideas come at once and I don’t know idea should I do first. And there are instances I lost interest at a certain thing when a new, more interesting activity comes to mind. Thus, I cannot finish what I started and get frustrated in the end. I get frustrated about the time I wasted from the activity that I was not able to finish. Add to that, I’m easily distracted and interrupted by outside stimuli, hence, lack of focus and the feeling of running out of time.

And yes, up to now, it is a wonder how am I able to keep this blog.

Anyway, my friend from Mood Warriors and Firebirds suggested that I do the Pomodoro Technique. According to Wikipedia, Pomodoro is a time management method. Developed by Francesco Cirillo, this technique was named after a “Pomodori” (Italian for tomatoes). He was in a slump that time and he was watching his classmates do their thing. He was looking for an objective validation and a time tutor to help him get focused – a kitchen timer shaped like a pomodori or tomato.

The concept of Pomodoro lies on how well you can manage your time and lessen the frustration and anxiety of not being able to use it wisely. He said that time is also against us because we don’t know how to handle it, thus, it leads to ineffective work and procrastination. He developed Pomodoro so we can use our time to accomplish what we really want, finish our task, and feel satisfied.

From Google photos
Cirillo discussed the two concepts of time in his paper. There are two types of “time”: the “becoming” and the succession of events. The becoming is abstract yet dimensional aspect of time which we measure in seconds, minutes, hours, so on and so forth. It is the duration an event. One bad example is the idea of being late at an appointment or at work. Or for some, deadlines He said that this aspect of time gives us anxiety since it is continuously moving forward to an immediate future. He added that when we measure ourselves against time, there is a high chance that we will feel inadequate when we did not meet our expectations.

On the other hand, the successions of events are things or activities we do on a regular basis like waking up, taking a bath and going to bed. It is more concrete, which means it is less stressful and less pressure.
Aside from time management, this technique aims to increase awareness in decision making and alleviate the anxiety of “becoming.” It can also boost your motivation and keep it constant so you can achieve your goals. With the Pomodoro you can have a different perspective of time and will know how to use your mind better to achieve your goals. The continuity aspect will help develop your focus and concentration.

Pomodoro is divided on the following stages:

1.       Planning
2.       Tracking
3.       Recording
4.       Processing
5.       Visualizing

In layman’s term (provided by Wikipedia) the five basic steps to implement such task are:

Planning and determining the task/s at hand
-          Set the Pomodoro (timer) to 25 minutes
-          Work on the task until the timer rings and record it with an “x”
-          Take a short break (3-5 minutes)
-          Every four pomodori take a long break (15-30 minutes)

In planning, you have to do a “To do list” which you will record everyday. Recording will help you determine the progress. As you accomplished your task, you will have a sense of accomplishment. When the activity is interrupted, the activity must be recorded or postponed or abandoned.

Cirillo also provided the format for this technique so you can record and track your progress. In short, you just need a mechanical timer, paper, pencil, and determination to finish the task at hand. The setting up the timer is the first step as it shows hoe determined you are to reach the end. The ticking is your desire to complete the task and ringing signifies a break.

I would try this method to keep my concentration. But I will also couple it with mind mapping for extra support. I promise to give an update once I started. I hope that you are with me on this journey!

Kopi Princess


The Pomodoro Technique by Francisco Cirillo