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I've tried using Pomodoro Technique when I was studying, though I wouldn't dare use it when I'm programming. It is somewhat helpful when I have to watch videos of lectures and take notes. I thought I needed it because I was distracted a lot. But then my focus improved, and I also forgot to turn on the timer.I use to track time for things I do, but then measuring quantity of my work somehow backfired on my sense of it's quality. I feel like I've done a lot, but didn't have much quality in it, because I thought of amount of time I've put into it.

There were other problems too: lack of time, excess of time, timer itself being a distraction, stressing out to fit my task into a certain period of time...

That made me wonder, when is it actually a good time to use Pomodoro? Whatever I try to do, now that I can focus more easily, I find it non-applicable. I understand if it's used for mundane tasks, but can't see how to apply it when you can't just stop doing something,or it's just a bigger bother to try to fit something in the certain period of time. It kind of became a distraction, rather than to prevent distraction.

Is Pomodoro useful only when people are easily distracted ? I've tried it, but I have no idea if it's a task (studying) I should have used it for.

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Just a side-note - The very short version of my answer to your other (deleted) question is: Doubt is natural & perfectionism can be a self-imposed trap. Nobody is a complete package - we play to our strengths and compliment each other on our way to success. Ways to avoid decision paralysis - Being open to exploring more than one avenue, Alternatively random probability in low-consequence situations (a dice or coin can work for this), & brute force decision making in matters of urgency (sometimes the cost of pondering a decision is greater than the price of a sub-optimal choice). –  Avestron May 21 '14 at 21:50
I guess the only solution is to try it myself, despite all my doubts.I often thought that most people have right answers to right question,and only I struggle like a noob.I envy people who are true explorers and aren't afraid to make a mistake.I like the ideas you offered, I do have (already) a way to test that dice method.Sometimes it's even hard to choose which daily task to finish first and there are few of them. After some searching last night, I also found out I should make and information diet and find my own way of doing certain things. Thanks 4 replying to my deleted question :) –  user7522 May 22 '14 at 8:14

4 Answers 4

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I was gearing up for the most examinations of my life a few weeks ago. I'm reasonably good at studies however, I do have a tendency of getting distracted early and taking irregular breaks which eventually end up breaking my study schedule.

The reason Pomodoro works is that it establishes regularity, but with certain boundaries. The 25 minute study sessions and 5 minutes breaks are perfect because they allow you to cool off after a session of concentration. It is extremely important to take these breaks in the right manner. Don't do anything diametrically opposite to studying. That's only for the long breaks.

As a programmer myself I can tell you that Pomodoro hasn't had much effect on me in that respect because as a programmer you usually end up looking to finish certain goals and not just link it to time. For example, you'll say, "Hey. I need to add this feature to my app." If you try to break your flow in the middle of your coding, it'll just take more time for you to finish the job.

However, Pomodoro when used in things like studying is extremely effective.

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I do use Pomodoros on activities where I'm able to concentrate too. I actually use them to force myself to take breaks. I get up at least every other Pomodoro. And I'll write a unit test or put a TODO in a document so I can resume and get right back in the flow again quickly.

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Looking from another perspective, when you're using the pomodoro technique, you can drill down your tasks to make them smaller and when you finish a task and say you have some 3-5 minutes left, you can use this time to re-read your code, rethink your solution, improve it a little bit, etc. There is always a lack of time for these activities. I think this can improve the quality of your production.

Still, I would not focus on the time - if I cannot do a task for a pomodoro interval, I would be disappointed and schedule it for my next one.

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I find it most useful when what I'm trying to do has no really clear boundary, or next action. Next actions are really easy for me to jump on, but something blurry is extremely difficult for me. Particularly if it's not something I'm excited about. For example, a programming project for work in which I haven't really defined what the problem is, I just know I need to spend time on it. So, I set a timer, and promise myself to work on it for that long. Often times racing against the clock gets me to a momentum I wouldn't have otherwise arrived at.

Your timer shouldn't distract you. I really like Timebar for Mac because it's visually there always, but doesn't make any noise.

If you don't feel like you need it for a particular task, I wouldn't use it.

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Someone want to tell me why this was downvoted? –  counterbeing May 13 '14 at 17:05

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