Good Habits: Pomodoro Technique

Hello everyone. Let me share a productivity tip that I’ve been using for years. It’s called the Pomodoro technique. The one sentence summary is that you work in blocks of 25 minutes at a time, resting for five minutes in between. After every four Pomodoros, you can take a longer break (typically 15-20 minutes).

I’ve been using this technique since I started actually programming professionally. It’s really helped me over the last 5 years. You can read the official site documentation, as well as other blog posts on the topic, but here are my tactics on how I use it as a software developer.

The Goal

My current goals (March 2018) are to improve my software development skills (and learn Elixir/relearn Javascript), write 100 blog posts, read 50 books, and get better at the bike (increase power while losing weight).

Those are not easy tasks at all. Based on experience, I’m cooked after about 5 hours of difficult programming tasks. I can still code light tasks after, but any more than 1 hour excess of focused work would leave me drained the next day.

I’ve found that maintaining a strict schedule, guided by the Pomodoro technique’s split of focused work and rest, has allowed me to get more done in a shorter amount of time.

This is done by splitting the day into Easy and Hard activities.

I rinse and repeat most days. Sometimes I move the programming blocks around, but I generally try to get 10 pomos of programming each day. It’s my primary objective, after all.

I’ve found that this structure really helps me guide how I get work done.





Still thinking about this part, but I know that everyone has a routine. It might be a crappy routine (wake up, play video games, go to sleep), but it’s still a routine. I’ve found that pomos really help me put times to things and increase my sense of urgency.