Josh is a graphic designer. Having used the Pomodoro Techinque since 2009, Josh has been able to manage his time for client projects with higher clarity and accuracy, building a higher work discapline by removing destractions and setting goals for the tasks at hand. He also uses the tecnique for personal use like writing, reading, appointments, family time, etc…
I started using the technique a few years ago. Just on and off I can’t remember the exact timeframe.
I started using it because I’m a self-help junkie and it seemed like a cool principle.
When I was on the computer.
I kept getting interrupted a lot more than I expected.
I had to figure out what time of the day I would have the least amount of distractions.
I figured out the time of day was just as important as the motivation to work. I also realized that responsibilities sometimes get in the way of interruption free work, so I just had to plan around that time.
Interruptions were the biggest problem (and still are sometimes). Internal interruptions were not too bad, because I am good at focusing on a single task if I’m asked. But external interruptions are out of my control (or so I thought). Family members, emails, phone calls, etc…
Turning off emails and putting my phone out of reach helped with internal interruptions, and letting my family know that when the timer starts, I am not available to do anything. But when I’m done, I am able to help them with whatever they need.
Better communication with my family, knowing when email is important (and when it’s not), and setting a respectable response time with my clients.
Figuring out how long something would take. I chose to use the Pomodoro Technique with writing (something I don’t do it often enough). I seemed to be under budget almost every time.
I had to practice. Over time I started to learn how long a certain activity takes to be completed.
Being able to budget my time more efficiently. Knowing how much I could get done with the time I had available to me.
Almost every time I was working on a project for a client, I would want to keep working after the timer and not take a break, sometimes it would be 15-20 minutes after the timer went off and I was still working.
I had to train myself to take a break no matter what I was doing (5 minutes of finishing up was ok sometimes). Forcing myself to stop came through repetition.
Wanting to work more. And sometimes overworking.
I would set plans with my family so that when the timetable was up my time was filled doing something else (fun). I would set "no-work" times of the day (mostly evenings).
I was able to enjoy the time with my family more knowing I did all I could for that day with work. There is freedom in believing you did your best every day.
For my personal objective I choose to monitor time and log hours for my paid work.
Remember to mark the Pomodoro after each session, and to log the hours at the end of the day.
I write my to-do list on a sticky note and estimate the amount of sessions. I also try to stick to one project per day (sometimes two). After four sessions (on the long break) I will always log those hours into Freshbooks.
I am able to get paid without counting the seconds! I have the confidence and integrity to send invoices with the exact amount of time I worked. I am even thinking about switching to an invoice system labeled: "Payed by the Pomodoro". I think it would be a great idea to share with the Pomodoro community as well!
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