Personal Productivity Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people wanting to improve their personal productivity. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm fairly new to the Pomodoro method & wanted to get feedback on how to handle a situation that is common in my line of work.

I'm a software analyst/engineer and often times I plan to complete a task (let's say Complete Regression Test for Module 10 of beta code), however I run into a roadblock that prevents me from completing the task 100%. A typical example would be running into a software bug that needs to be corrected in order for me to proceed.

In this case, should I mark the task (Regression Test Module 10 beta code) as complete since it is as complete as possible at this given point in time? Or, do I (or can I) update my To Do Today paper & change 'Regression Test Module 10' to 'Regression Test Module 10 up to line 1043' (Assuming that line 1043 is as far as I was able to get)

Since reporting the bug to the development manager is urgent; I believe I would make a new task on my To Do Today list ("report software bug to development manager"), mark it as Urgent & work on that next.

Lastly, how do I deal with the tasks that are dependent upon the release of the patch? I need to eventually "Install patch" & "Pick-up with regression testing at line 1044'. Would those 2 tasks go on my Activity Inventory with an estimated deadline?

Thanks for your feedback!

share|improve this question
As far as I know, this should be treated as pending and marked as "waiting for" if this is an option available to you and then it should be postponed. Not sure if this can be handled purely in Pomodoro Technique. – Natwar Lath Jan 17 '12 at 14:46

I spend sometime thinking about this problem too. IMHO, it's one of the situations that we can't apply a "full" pomodoro template.

In your case, I will recommend merging the next task into this task, and call them "Complete 2 test cases". In fact the test case failed not because of you, so your responsibility is completed already. Then if you still need to run that regression test again (after the developer fixes bug), make it a new task for tomorrow.

share|improve this answer

I mark as complete and then schedule a new task for tomorrow - plus any knock on tasks such as letting people know there might be a delay.

share|improve this answer

I always put a check next that item for that day, because I worked on it. I also put a "percent complete" next to that item if it is not finished. If helpful, I will put a note about what was done, needs to be done still or where I left off.

As far as waiting on something, I usually put a W next to it, to show that I am waiting on something to proceed. I sometimes also write beside that task a shorthand reminder of what I am waiting on or a date to follow-up if nothing happens with it.

share|improve this answer

If you run into a new problem, make that a new task, and log it in an issue tracker. If the task becomes unmanageable, try to break it up into smaller tasks.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.