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Scenario:

I am reading a tutorial; it is separated in Chapters. I have "proved" over the course of 5 chapters that each one of them takes me 8 pomodori (there hasn't been an exception).

Problem:

The pomodoro technique doesn't allow you to register/use an estimate of more than 7 pomodori.

Question:

I have come up with 2 solutions:

  1. Put 2 tasks of 4 pomodori each for reading half a chapter.
  2. Use an estimate of 8 pomodori anyway.

I'm leaning towards the 2nd just to "cut the BS". Which one do you think is best?

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Cut the BS. Measure the results. If the results are okay, who cares about the details? If the results are bad, perhaps it wasn't BS. –  Viliam Búr May 14 '13 at 14:02
    
@Arturo If you found my answer helpful, please consider accepting it. –  dwwilson66 May 16 '13 at 13:21
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1 Answer

up vote 3 down vote accepted

My personal rule of thumb with any organizational/productivity system (and pretty much everything I do) is "take what you like and leave the rest behind". When I look at the base INTENT of Pomodoro, it's to force me to take a physical and mental break from work so I stay mentally sharp. Far too often, unless interrupted, I can work 8 hours straight without eating, drinking, and be physically and mentally exhausted by the end of the day.

It doesn't matter WHAT I do, as far as I'm concerned, as long as I take regular breaks to refresh.

Regarding Pomodoro. I'm used to working 10 hour workdays, and I'm usually planned out two to three days in advance. I divide all my work into tasks that can be completed in a 25-minute block with a 5-minute break. After 2 hours, (4 of of the 25/5 blocks), I break for 30 minutes. So far, pretty Pomodoroish. However, with a ten hour day, I usually end up with 16-20 of those 25/5 blocks.

After two sets of four, my LONG break is 1:00 instead of 0:30, then back to the normal cycle.

The key for me is that I know my work habits. I know when I work best, what my threshold for attention is as the day progresses, etc., and I've modelled MY version of Pomodoro on MY owrk habits.

I look at it like this: if Pomodoro is "proven" to work any studies or proof would be based on average numbers over a large cross-section in order to have statistical reliability. None of us are the "average", so I feel we've got every right to make adjustments to suit our personal needs based on the intent of the system.

So if you think you have the discipline and stamina to do throw the sever-Pomodoro limit out the window and make it 8, go for it. It's not like there are Pomodoro police wandering the world of productivity management waiting to pounce on unsuspecting dissidents. :)

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2  
Well said. Want to add: Just because something is going to take 8 pomodoros doesn't mean you have to do them all in a row. You can read 6 of them and take a break. Or you can do all 8 in a row. As long as you can concentrate that long, no problem. –  Jeanne Boyarsky May 14 '13 at 1:19
    
True dat, true dat. Like I said, the INTENT of the system..making sure you take breaks to avoid burning out...is more important that than method itself. –  dwwilson66 May 14 '13 at 12:37
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