Procrastination Hacks – The Pomodoro Technique

TL;TR (Too Long To Read?)

If this article id too long for you, jump to the end and check the infographic and video about the Pomodoro Technique. It will be enough to get you familiar with it.

But if you want to know more about the “why” behind this technique, then continue reading 😉

What is The Pomodoro Technique?

The Pomodoro Technique is a powerful time management tool that helps you beat procrastination by staying focus and less burned out during your work periods.

This technique was developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980’s and it uses a timer to break down the work into uninterrupted intervals of time that are separated by short breaks.

These intervals are called “pomodoros”, that comes from the Italian word “pomodoro” (that means “tomato”) .

Why is it such a powerful tool against Procrastination?

Learn to use time as your ally

The Pomodoro Technique shows you that work is not the enemy, that we don’t need to race against him every time we have to get some work done. This system, while looking so simple, is based on a powerful principle that teaches you to manager you time in a way that it will work with you and not against you.

Decrease your Burnout

The periodic breaks are the core of the Pomodoro Technique. They make sure your brain (and ever your body) rests between working periods which decreases the Burnout feeling that happens after a few hours of work. This way you can work more hours and feel fresher than if you worked just a few. If you follow the system of course!

Reduce Distractions

In the information age, the distractions are countless. Either it’s your phone applications, a call or a social network notification, there is all the time a distraction around the corner.
Following the procedure of taking note of distraction and moving on, gives you the chance to analyze in the end which things are worth do or not in the next Pomodoro. Normally they are not!

If it’s just a friend message on Facebook, feel free to use your break for it.

Helps with a better work/life balance

The math here is simple! Less procrastination and more things done in less time, equals more free time to your family and friends.

– quoted from Pomodoro’s Website

How to use the Pomodoro Technique?

Below is the step-by-step guide to use Pomodoro Technique as a tool to fight procrastination.

1. Make a list of the tasks you want to accomplish

Write down a list of tasks you need to get done. Optionally, try to estimate how many pomodoros you will need for each task for some fast analytics in the end (your estimations will be totally wrong in the beginning but, with time, you will start improving on that).

2. Choose one task to start

Personal opinion, start with the small ones and take them off your list first. It will give you the motivation to tackle the big ones while making you feel less overwhelmed with a big list of tasks still to do.

3. Set the timer to 25 minutes

Make a commitment to yourself: You will spend the next 25 minutes focused on this task and you will avoid any interruption or distraction.

4. Focus on that task until the Pomodoro timer ends

Focus on the task for the next 25 minutes. If during this time you find something else you need to do, write it down on your task list and continue. You will have time for that, but NOT NOW!

5. When the Pomodoro finishes, stop what you’re doing

Congratulations! You started your fight against procrastination by spending 25 minutes of uninterrupted work on this task. Put a check on your ToDo list for one completed Pomodoro on this task.

6. Take a short break

Breathe, eat something, drink some water, move a little, grab a coffee or just do something else outside of work. The idea is to give your head some time to rest from the task, so your barin can stay fresh through out the day.

7. Every four Pomodoros, take a longer break

Once you’ve completed four Pomodoros, you can should take a longer break. Between 15 to 20 minutes to give your brain some rest. Take this opportunity to move a little, your body will appreciate it. During this big break, do some mindless activity that doesn’t require your brain to think so much. You can go for a walk, meditate, so some cleaning or even cooking. If it is something that you love to do, event better. Also don’t forget to eat and keep yourself hydrated.

8. Repeat this cycle from point 2.

After the break go for the next Pomodoro. The task you were working on was finished? If not, focus on her for one more pomodoro. If yes, continue to the next task.

– quoted from Pomodoro’s Website

Having this steps in consideration, and using the recommended 25/5 mins cycles, your Pomodoro cycle will look something like this:

Pomodoro Technique Cycle - Beat Procrastination

Each cycle will take you about 2 hours and  you will be able to accomplish 4 work periods (pomodoros) during that time, while keeping yourself fresh with the short breaks. And the long break will make sure you are even fresher before you start a new cycle.

Infographic and Video

If you’re more of a visual person, here is a really simple infographic (that you can print and take to hang at your work place) and a video explaining all the steps for a successful use of the Pomodoro Technique.

Anti Procrastination Guide

– image from http://elvindantes.com

 

Some Pomodoro Apps

Mobile

Clear Focus

Pomodoro Timer

Pomotodo

Productivity Challenge Timer

Browser Extensions/Apps

Strict Workflow (Also blocks distracting websites)

Pomodoro Timer

Pomodo’more

Web Apps

Lanes (Also Android)

Tomato Timer

TomatoID

Marinara Timer

 

Feedly Slideshow Automation – When Laziness meets JavaScript

Feedly Logo

This post comes after one of those “when you’re so lazy to slide though your Feedly news that you write some JavaScript code to automate it” situations. Of course, if you’re not a lazy person or a programming geek like me, you may never have had one of those situations…

I guess I am not the only one who has one or more RSS collection on which I don’t want to read all the news. Only scroll through and check if something interesting catches my attention.

Those are the perfect collections for me to check while I am eating or just taking my break near the computer. Even more perfect if I don’t have to click for the news to change! :)

I use Feedly (big fan btw!) to manage my RSS feeds, but unfortunately they don’t have an auto slide function (at least that I know). So I decided to make my own! If you also want this feature or you’re just curious, check the video and the code bellow:

Video

Code

The script used in the video can be obtained on this gist: (I know this code is not amazing, it was not suppose to be! Feel free to comment here or on the gist with an improved version.)

The script is very simple! It basically adds a key up event listener that will use the keys ‘q’ and ‘w’ to respectively start and stop the slideshow. The slideshow it’s not more then a setInterval with the defined timeout that will trigger a click on the slide arrow on Feedly.

The plugin used in the video to inject the script into Feedly’s website is InjectCode (Chrome plugin). Really simple and useful plugin if your all the time running the same scripts.

InjectCode PLugin

Feel free to try this or to leave any comments bellow.

 

Startup Technical Due Diligence Calculator by Point Nine Capital

Trying to analyze the current state of your startup and prepare it to handle the possible troubles, that the future will bring, is not always an easy task. But there are a few resources that can help you do that. One of them is the Startup Technical Due Diligence Calculator, by Point Nine Capital.

This technical calculator consists on a series of questions that will help you identify the current technical state of your startup. And possibly identify a few red flags that could become a bigger problem in the future.

image-572341bff0f71-default

In this gitbook, you will find:

a list of questions by topic that help us understand how are you building your tech and engineering team
suggested answers to each different question
a suggested rating for each of the different answers, that tries to weight it’s importance in a well performing early-stage startup engineering team.

The book is composed by three sections: Assessment, Learning and Teaching and this will help you identify:

  • How the product has been built until TODAY
  • If it will work TOMORROW when success brings trouble
  • Product development speed of the company
  • Leadership skills of their managers
  • People-management skills of the tech founder
 

Inspiring Quotes #4 – Life has two rules

Life has two rules: #1 Never Quit #2 Always remember Rule #1.

– Unknown

 

Upgrading to PHP 7 – Mini eBook by O’Reilly

A couple of days ago, O’Reilly published a free mini eBook from Davey Shafik about Upgrading to PHP 7. This eBook has around 80 pages and is available in ePub, Mobi, and PDF at this link.

(Click on the image and go to the download page)upgrade-php7

“Upgrading to PHP 7” book review:

PHP 7—the most dramatic update to the language in over a decade—has arrived. This O’Reilly report provides you with a short guide to the major changes in this new release, including a revamped engine (Zend Engine 3), a bunch of new features, and lots of language cleanup. You’ll learn about basic language changes, deprecated features, Unicode enhancements, changes in Object-Oriented programming, and other enhancements.

You’ll also discover why it’s taken more than 10 years for the first new major version of PHP since PHP 5 to appear—and what happened to version 6 in the meantime.

Get important details regarding changes to PHP 7, including:

– Deprecated features, starting with alternative PHP tags and POSIX-compatible regular expressions
– Uniform Variable Syntax, including consistency fixes and new syntax
– Basic language changes, such as new operators, constant arrays, new functions, and regular expressions
– Expectations and Assertions
– Error handling
– Enhancements to PHP’s Unicode, closure, and Generator features
– Changes in Object-Oriented programming
– Scalar type hints (perhaps the most polarizing and exciting new feature)

– Made by the author in his blog.

 

Inspiring Quotes #3 – Any fool can write code

Any fool can write code that a computer can understand. Good programmers write code that humans can understand.

– Martin Fowler

 

Cybersecurity TED Talk – Hire the Hackers!

In this TED talk from 2013, Misha Glenny amuses the crown with his interesting toughs on Hackers and Cybersecurity.

Despite multibillion-dollar investments in cybersecurity, one of its root problems has been largely ignored: who are the people who write malicious code? Underworld investigator Misha Glenny profiles several convicted coders from around the world and reaches a startling conclusion.

 

 

Resources To Learn and Get Good with Laravel 5

I played around a little with Laravel, a couple of years ago, during their version three, but then I ended up diving deep into the Yii Framework instead (work related reasons).

Recently, I decided to go back into it, after they release the version 5, and I was surprised with the huge rise that it had in terms of community and learning resources.

The following list of resources was compiled , for personal use, during my initial research to get up to speed with the new version of the framework. So, if you are trying to getting evolved with Laravel now, check this list first! 😉

Click here to read the full article…

 

The PHP-FIG Website got relaunched… And it looks good!!

The PHP Framework Interoperability Group (PHP-FIG) just announced the relaunch of their website today, on their twitter channel, asking the community what they think of the new website.

The reactions from the PHP community on twitter has been really good so far. Check it out and give your feedback too!

php-fig

 

Share a PHP package with Composer and Packagist

Hi there! In this quick tutorial we will see how to create a package for your PHP class/library with composer and publish it on packagist.org.

You probably are already using composer to manage dependencies in your projects and search for packages to speed up your development.

And guess what… creating your packages and giving back to the PHP community is as easy as requiring them!

Before we start…

(Skip this part if you already have composer installed and you project code on a version control system)

Installing composer

You will need composer installed on your system to create and test your packages so, if you don’t have it already, let’s go ahead and install it.

I recommend you install composer globally so then you can access it in any directory by just typing composer:

Although, if you are on windows or just want a to install composer locally for your project, you can check their quick start guide.

Click here to read the full article…