The Pomodoro Technique – Supercharge Your Efficiency + Legal Productivity (Part 1)

by rocketmatter-admin March 11, 2010

Let’s face it: lawyers have to wear a lot of hats. Before you know it, your day can be over and you feel like you’ve gotten nothing accomplished.

Like the Getting Things Done personal organizational system, The Pomodoro Technique is popular in technology circles but I haven’t seen a wide discussion of it in Legal. And even though I’m a dedicated David Allen fanboy and wrote a weeklong series on Legal GTD, I have to admit that GTD is hard to master whereas Pomodoro is simple, simple, simple. It doesn’t really require reading a whole darn book or going to a seminar.

You can visit the project’s homepage here, or take the shortcut and download a cheat sheet here.

Pomodoro is Italian for tomato. The guy who invented it lives in Italy and had a wind-up tomato timer in his kitchen. The idea is simple: you wind up the timer for 25 minutes and work on only one thing. The timer rings, and you reward yourself with a little break and get ready for the next Pomodoro.

Here are the basics:

1. Choose a task to be accomplished
2. Set the timer to 25 minutes
3. Work on the task until the Pomodoro rings, then put a check on your sheet of paper
4. Take a short break (3-5 minutes is OK)
5. Every 4 Pomodoros take a longer break (15-30 minutes).

I’m currently testing out the system and will be writing a series of posts about my experiences.  So, please, follow along and take part in the discussion!

Note:  for you gung-ho tinkerers like me who are going to start this immediately, watch out, some of the Pomodoro timers for the iPhone will suck down your battery faster than you can say “Droid”.

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