Notes from the Field on Clockwork Tomato

Earlier this morning, I wrote about my using Clockwork Tomato, the Pomodoro app for my HTC One.  There is a Pomodoro Cheat Sheet that you can find at this link.  My goal today was to use the planning techniques of the Pomo in getting through my to do list.

My first item on the list was Clean Desk. It was a mess from the deep immersion that I wrote about in my first post.  I assigned 2 Pomo's, or 50 minutes to accomplish this task.  Sadly, not only did it take me 2-Pomo's, I added another Pomo (that's 75 minutes) and I still didn't finish.  I still have 1.5" of papers to go through.  I stacked them up for a look at tomorrow. Honestly, I think that there is 2-Pomo's left to do. It's like losing weight -- whatever you gain over a period of time cannot melt away.  Such are the physics of the 'stuff' that accumulates on your desk (and other places in your house).  As a veteran of these types of accumulations, I say with authority, pick a well-defined space (even if it is just a corner of your desk), and work through your 'piles' systematically.

My second item on the list was Organize To-Do list.  My to-do list was getting a bit far flung, and it was needing some consolidation.  I had 1 Pomo for that.  It took me two. Sniff.

My third item was a  budget-actual job hours report for a client that analyzes all of the performance of jobs against estimates to include hours and estimated man day rates.  I estimated 1 Pomo.  It took me 1 Pomo.  I hit the send button just as the session was ending.  That felt like a winner.

I will not bore you with the rest.  Point being...that tick, tick, ticking in the background is a powerful reminder that "time's a-running" whether you are accomplishing anything or not.   It is a motivator not only to complete the task, but better, to PLAN the task, and ensure that everything needed is lined up so you can get through the session. And finally, it really focuses you to KNOW how long a particularly task takes. This method makes you time conscious.

Because I used this method all day--which meant that each session ran into the other seamlessly--I felt both hurried and a stressed. I say this to be honest, not to disabuse you of the notion of integrating a method such as this into your life.  Rather, this discomfort (which we all try to avoid), will be lessened by refining the day's plan better.

My previous utilization of timing methods was to use discrete packages of time without any integration into an entire work day. 

But gosh, I had a productive day!


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