I use the Pomodoro Technique quite a bit but I've never been comfortable with the hard stop for my 'on-task' timer for my Pomodoros. 25 minutes is about the right duration for me but only rarely is it the exact right duration. Usually I need a small amount of time to get to a nice stopping point. The breakdown for me is in the 30 to 90 seconds I take to wrap things up. Invariably, I lose track of time and my Pomodoro cadence gets all out of whack.
Recently, I've put together a few tools/apps and now I like where I'm at Pomodorically. Here's a rundown:
1) It keeps a log of what I've worked on.
I rely on this when I put my timesheet together.
and 2)It pops up a sticky notifier when the time is up. Great!
The app uses Growler with the important part being the notification is sticky. Because it's sticky, I'm less likely to forget where I'm at in the Pomodoro process.
countdown_timer ruby scriptI use the Pomodoro mac app for my task time, but to time my breaks I wrote a command line ruby script (I'm sure something already exists for this, but writing software is fun). It's on github and it uses Eloy Duran's binary for terminal-notifier. From the command line I can start the timer like so:
ruby countdown_timer.rb 5 minutes ruby countdown_timer.rb 30 seconds ruby countdown_timer.rb 15:00Here's some sample output:
AlfredI love my command line, but Alfred's shell extensions are what make this process palatable. I added a shell extension to Alfred and when it's time for a Pomodoro break I use the Alfred shortcut to fire up my countdown_timer.
and a screen shot of Alfred in action:
WorkflowWith these tools in place, here's my process:
- Fire up a Pomodoro task: 'work on this thing'
- type, think, type, think, ...
- Time's up! Growler notifier stuck on my terminal
- Stop thinking(this is easy) and type a little more so I know where to pick up after the break.
- type, type, type. done. Where was I? Ahh right, time for a 5 minute break.
- fire up alfred and enter the command to start my countdown timer. ie:
<alt>+<space> ct 5 m <return>
- hang loose until the notifier pops up
- lather rinse repeat
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