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ThePomodoroTechnique_v1-3

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3.4 A Different Perception of Time The first benefit that comes from applying the Pomodoro Technique, which is already apparent in the first few days, is sharper focus and concentration that comes from a different perception of time. This new perception of time that passes seems to elicit the following sensations: 1. The first 25-minute Pomodoros seem to pass more slowly. 2. After a few days of constant application of the Pomodoro, users say they can actually feel the mid-way point of the 25 minutes. 3. By the end of the first week of constant application of the Pomodoro, users say they can actually feel when 5 minutes are left on the Pomodoro. In fact, many people report having some sense of fatigue during these final minutes. We can stimulate this ability to feel time in a different way by means of a series of exercises which serve to enhance consciousness of passing time among Pomodoro users. This different awareness of the passage of time seems to lead Pomodoro users to a higher level of concentration in performing the activity at hand.
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The best way to manage your resources is to work strategically, first increasing the breaks between sets, and then extending the breaks between Pomodoros, if need be.
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The same can be said for breaks between Pomodoros, which should be no less than 3-5 minutes. When you?re especially tired, you can stop working for up to 10 minutes. Remember, though, that downtime between Pomodoros that consistently lasts more than 5-10 minutes risks breaking the rhythm between Pomodoros. It would be better to finish the current set and take a 15-30 minute break.
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It would be a serious mistake to take shorter breaks between sets because you?re under pressure. Your mind needs time to integrate and get ready to receive new information to solve the upcoming problems in the next Pomodoro. Taking a shorter break because you?re in a rush could lead to a mental block in finding solutions.
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If you have to solve a very complicated problem, you?ll need a 25-minute break between every set. If you?re especially tired, it?s possible and even beneficial to lengthen breaks between sets every so often. But breaks that consistently exceed 30 minutes risk interrupting the rhythm between sets of Pomodoros. More importantly, this sets off an alarm signaling the need for rest and free time!
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The length of breaks depends on the how tired you feel. Breaks at the end of a set should last from 15 to 30 minutes. For example, if you?ve kept up an intense rhythm throughout the whole day, at the end of the next to last set of Pomodoros your break will naturally last 25 minutes.
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In light of these two forces, we?ve come to consider the ideal Pomodoro as 20 ? 35 minutes long, 40 minutes at the most. Experience shows that the Pomodoro Technique works best with 30-minute time periods.
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! The Pomodoro has to encourage consciousness, concentration, and clear-minded thinking. It?s been proven that 20- to 45-minute time intervals can maximize our attention and mental activity, if followed by a short break (15).
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! The Pomodoro has to represent an effective atomic measure of work. In other words, the Pomodoro has to measure equal units of continuous effort; as such these units are comparable with others.
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In terms of how long a Pomodoro lasts, two forces have to be kept in balance to maximize effectiveness:
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3.2 The Length of the Pomodoro
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Mastering the Technique takes from seven to twenty days of constant application.
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In any case, choosing which metrics to track and record has to be subordinate to the choice of improvement objectives. In this case, the metrics system will grow incrementally on the basis of real need, keeping tracking complexity to a minimum.
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4. If Processing and Visualizing become difficult, complex, and repetitive, you first have to ask yourself if all the metrics you?re observing are really necessary. If so, you should consider using spreadsheets, a database, or an ad hoc software program. A simple excel sheet can readily handle operations such as: reclassifying activities by type, filtering activities by word, grouping and applying calculations to selected activities. 5. Imagination is the most powerful tool for preventing complexity from growing.
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3. Keep recording simple by using the tools best suited to the complexity you have to manage. Before turning to a spreadsheet or a database, see if there?s a more effective way to do Recording with paper, pencil, and eraser. Before using ad hoc software, see if there?s a more effective way to do Recording with a spreadsheet or a database.
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2. Keep Tracking at the lowest possible level of complexity (even delegating small tasks to Recording). Choose simple tools for this activity: using paper, pencil and eraser serves as a useful mental exercise.
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1. Always remember that using technology means an increase in complexity due to the relative learning curve, and less flexibility as compared to paper, pencil, and eraser.
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Here?s the key to organizing a timetable: make conscious decisions on how to set it up. Up to this point, sets of four Pomodoros have been used because this amount is usually considered most effective. But you can also use longer or shorter sets lasting, say, three or five Pomodoros. At the end of the set comes a 15-30 minute break. In order to be effective, a timetable should also have the following features: it should be destined to change over time, and it can be made of sets of differing numbers of Pomodoros, giving preference to those lasting four Pomodoros. Note Experience teaches that when the seasons change, your timetable needs to change too.
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(2) Kent Beck,?Software-In-Process: A New/Old Project Metric?, http://citeseer.ist.psu.edu/context/2433183/0.
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If you?re especially tired, you need to organize shorter sets (for example three Pomodoros) and take longer breaks between sets. The more tired you are, or the more behind or panic-stricken you feel, the more important it is to repeat and review rather than to forge ahead at all costs. The key objective is never to recover lost time, but instead to be focused on taking the next step on your chosen path, which you often - consciously - change.
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