The pomodoro is a neat method for creating little islands of time. There are numerous ways they can be added as an extra tool in one’s own methods of productivity.
In writing this series of posts, I took the opportunity to experiment in learning the technique itself. I would use the pomodoros I had mapped out to work on the series with the idea that I would complete the series before posting them.
As new ideas, related or unrelated to the project, occurred in the process of writing, I would type control-option-space and enter them into the inbox for later processing. Starting a pomodoro with a clean inbox would allow me to review what was on my mind and what types of interruptions could present.
I also learned that the kitchen table is a terrible place for pomodoros. Meanwhile, pomodoros are great for review sessions of GTD and my projects in OmniFocus.
Starting a project using a pomodoro can give a sense of how long that project may take. At first, I thought this series would not take very long at all. After all, someone’s already written a lot on GTD and also on the Pomodoro. I’ve written on OmniFocus and GTD prior and there is a lot more on them out there. What else was there to say?
Once I started and saw how far I would get every 25 minutes, I realized the project was larger than I had originally anticipated. On a daily basis, I could decide if the project was worth continuing, and if so, how much effort to devote to it. As other projects appeared, some pressing and some not, I could always weigh the importance of continuing or suspending the project.
1 pomodoro at least would keep the flow moving. Several would increase the intensity and depth with which I could devote myself. There were weeks where it did have to be suspended, and other days where a small amount could be devoted, and still others where I could devote myself more fully to it.
Using the 25 minutes spans, I would break up tasks into manageable chunks. The realization of the size of the project gradually formed throughout the process. By mapping out the next week, I could have a general sense of what I could accomplish in that course of time. One can extend the process even further.
If, for example, I wanted to make it a policy for myself to have x number of pomodoros available each week between certain hours, I could then have an idea of projects I could do. Of course, one can use any standard measurement of time. But knowing that the time will be dedicated and concentrated somehow does make a difference.
As noted earlier, there are some things that I would definitely not use a pomodoro for. The pomodoro sets a certain type of pace or flow to a project. Having experimented with the technique, I can decide whether or not it is a type of flow conducive to a particular project.
Well, this concludes the series introducing the pomodoro to the GTD/OmniFocus productivity methods. I hope you enjoyed the posts 🙂
This post is now transferred to UsingOmniFocus.com. Further commentary may be made at that site.