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The Pomodoro Technique works well for me when I do fixed ,defined tasks like studying using book or working on specific issues .But I struggle with this technique when the task at hand has a lot of dependencies .

Like when I am studying using the internet where to understand a specific concept I need to google it ,which introduces another concept which again I need to search ,thereby increasing the chance of the getting me distracted completely from the task at hand .Or doing a task that might require you to talk to other people ,that might introduce intermediate tasks and after 25 minutes I feel I haven't done anything .

So for tasks that have dependencies how do you use the pomodoro technique ?

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3 Answers 3

IMO, the key is that if the dependencies are part of that task, let the pomodoro continue.

For example, you must google sth or ask someone for complete the current task. If the content of google results or what are you talking about still bound with the goal of the task, it's mean you still focus. And that what you want from the pomodoro technique.

Why? From my research, the additional benefit from pomodoro is "Neuron connection". When you focus in one thing for a while, with multiple activities, reading...talking..., that's make your brain create multiple parts of Neuron connection. The clearly advantage is that you will never(or very hard to) forget it. In the case of multiple dependencies, if you can make yourself focus, the dependencies turn to your great benefit from pomodoro technique.

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Personally, I find taking notes during the process very helpful. Write down the things you need to research, or things that cause you to branch off, and come back to them in the next session.

Or, write down every task you begin. Then, if you get pulled in another direction that is related, but not actually said task, then write that down as a "sub-task".

Continue to take you scheduled breaks. When you come back, you will see what you have accomplished, what you have left un-accomplished, and what additional tasks can be incorporated to whatever main project you are working on.

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Put the task in another pomodoro.

Let's say you're doing a pomodoro on cooking lunch. It has stuff like cutting onions and grilling. But you don't know how to cut onions or grill, and don't even have an onion cutter.

You convert your current pomodoro into a 'prepartion' pomodoro. Spend the rest of the pomodoro doing everything else it takes to get ready to cook - defrost the butter, defeather the chicken, whatever.

You decide to learn to cut onions and grill on YouTube, so your next pomodoro is a YouTube pomodoro. You list down everything you want to research, and you spend the next pomodoro doing it all at once.

Then you go out and buy an onion cutter. This is probably something that doesn't require pomodoros, so just do it, along with whatever "outside errands" you have on your list.

Then, when you come back, you start up another cooking pomodoro.

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