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

What are some good strategies for coping with tasks that have high "wait times" when using the Pomodoro techinque?

Right now I'm about 15 minutes into a pomodoro, but I'm waiting for a program to finish running. I know that the program will take at least another 25 minutes to run. Until it's done, I can't do anything else for this task, although I could make progress on other tasks.

Should I switch to the other task, knowing that I will have to switch back in a few minutes? Should I "slack off" while the task completes?

Should I sit there and stare at the screen waiting for the task to complete?

Is there a better idea?

Obligatory xkcd:

share|improve this question
up vote 2 down vote accepted

I always go for a task I know is brief, whether it is during emails, paperwork, feeding the cat or even just getting a coffee.

While it may not be sensible to begin another pomodoro there are always things you can do without losing the flow of your original task.

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.