I’ve mentioned it before, but I just wanted to reiterate: I’ve been much more productive with the pomodoro technique the last few weeks. I use kanbanflow.com to manage it – the combination Kanban board and pomodoro timer works great for me. In the past, by todo list has been pretty random, ad-hoc, and subject to constant changes.

Saturday, I set up my board – my todo tasks for the following week. This will range from “Exercise like this” to “Read this” to “Update that.” Each morning, I make sure my hard-copy planner matches up with what’s on the board, and also do a review of the previous day to see how I did. I DO NOT add anything to the new day’s list that morning – any additions were done on previous days. This means that my list is feature-locked each morning. I feel like this is a little bit of Scrum – Sunday I review my previous week, check to see what I need to do this week, have daily standups to see how I’m going, and check my progress at the same time.

The pomodoro advantage increases productivity first by keeping me focused (“I can focus on this huge task for just 25 minutes”), removing guilt over relaxing (“I’ll check that email in 7 more minutes” [yes, I feel guilty for taking breaks]), and also letting me keep track of my time (“Ugh, I spent 45 minutes reading email? That’s awful!”). I’m still crunching numbers on my productivity last year and so far this year, but when I get to a good point (perhaps end of this quarter) I’ll take a close look at how it’s been.