Friday, 15 January 2016

App of the Month: Pomodoro Time

This month’s app is a simple one, and very appropriate for the time of year! As it’s all about time management, improving your productivity, limiting procrastination and getting things done. Yup, something we all need in the working or studying world, but it seems particularly relevant now that it’s the winter assessment season. So if you’re studying for exams, writing essays or already out there in the big scary real life working world, this app could be a pretty useful one for you!

Name: Pomodoro Time
Category: Productivity
Available On: iPhone (However similar apps can be found for other platforms)
Price: Free

I was originally recommended a similar app called Orange Time Management by a friend, but after doing some research I found this app, Pomodoro Time, which is identical with a few added extras. Although being a more basic version of Pomodoro Time, Orange Time Management is available on the Apple App Store, Amazon and Google Play for free if you’d like to give it a go and have an Android or Kindle or something else other than an Apple product.
If you’ve ever heard of the ‘Pomodoro Technique’ you’ve probably already guessed what this app is all about, however if you’re like me and thought that Pomodoro was purely something to do with pasta then get ready for some knowledge coming your way! 

First fact, Pomodoro means tomato in Italian, congrats you now know at least one word in Italian. You’re welcome. So I’m taking about some kind of tomato timer? What do tomatoes have to do with anything? And why am I suddenly starting to feel hungry? All the talk of Italian food has my stomach rumbling.
Image Source: legalproductivity.com
But back to the point in hand. The Pomodoro Timer is based on that Pomodoro Technique I mentioned earlier. The Tomato is actually kind of relevant, because if I say Tomato Timer, what do you think of? Hopefully a kitchen timer! And this app is essentially just a timer.

The idea is you spend 25 minutes working distraction free, and then have a 5 minute break. Do another 25 minutes solid work, then take another 5 minute break. Rinse and repeat. Then after you’ve done this 4 times you’ve earned a half hour break. So that works out as 1 hour 20 minutes solid distraction and procrastination free work for 50 minutes of down time.

So you're getting me so far? Or rather you’re understanding the dynamics, don’t worry I didn’t get it at first either but I gave it a go, and somehow an app I didn’t think would be staying on my phone for longer than 5 minutes is something I’ve used almost every day for the last week of my revision, and even now while writing this post.

I know this won’t work for everyone, but it has for me, and I put the PRO in procrastination. Whether it’s snacking, cleaning, seeing how many veggie marshmallows I can fit in my mouth, social media, Netflix… I really do struggle to get into my work. But this app really forced me to focus for those 25 minutes, which really felt like no time at all but before I knew it I was getting more and more done in those brief slots. Then 5 minutes is just enough time for a quick refresher. In 5 minutes you can have
a catch up on social media, take a few pics of your accomplishments to flaunt on Instagram, make a cup of tea, have a toilet break, do some stretching, maybe have a quick ciggie, basically there’s a lot you can do in 5 minutes.. Hmm… I see a potential blogpost there.

So there’s the general idea. These 25 minute slots are called ‘pomodoros’ and ‘Pomodoro’ Time allows you to set how many you want to complete a day, track them and assign them to different categories of task. As a result you can keep up with how much time you’re actually putting into things, and hopefully improve your productivity! 

This one definitely has a thumbs up from me! If you try it out let me know how you found it!
If you enjoyed this check out one of my other App of the Month’s:


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