Gabriela has been working as a computer engineer since 2010. Her work focuses on the development of software systems. Her main benefit using the technique is that now she is able to use her time more wisely, allowing her to have more free time for new activities.

“I was able to use my free time wisely and complete the tasks that were pending for a long time. Beside when I finished them I was able to enjoy my time on other leisure activities.”

Gabriela Villalobos Zúñiga - Computer Engineer


PT: When did you begin using the Pomodoro Technique?
G: I began using the Technique since December 2011 at my second job.

PT: Why did you start using the Pomodoro Technique?
G: I started using this technique because a friend of mine recommended it to me and told me to try it.

PT: What did you apply the technique in?
G: I use this technique mostly at work. I’m a software developer. Basically I pick a requirement and assign a certain number of pomodoros to complete it.


FIND OUT HOW MUCH EFFORT AN ACTIVITY REQUIRES

PT: What difficulties did you encounter?

G: The main difficulty I found was to focus on the activity that I was doing and to know the correct amount of time it would take in order to complete it.

PT: How did you overcome the difficulties?
G: To overcome the difficulties I try to eliminate all the distractions around me and to put all my effort in completing a task.

PT: What benefits did you receive?
G: The benefit I received was to find out how much time a certain activity takes to be completed.


CUT DOWN ON INTERRUPTIONS

PT: What difficulties did you encounter?

G: The main difficulty that I encountered was to focus on my main task and remove all the “other” thoughts that came to my mind while I was working on the task. Another difficulty I faced was the fact of telling my collegues that I couldn’t talk to them when they tried to interrupt me, and letting them know that I will reply to them in a few minutes.

PT: How did you overcome the difficulties?
G: To overcome this difficulty every time I noticed myself looking at something else I thought: “Focus, go back to your work” and forced myself to return to work. Also, I closed all other programs that could discract me. Beside, I told myself to focus on the task and later I could just focus on my distractions.

PT: What benefits did you receive?
G: The main benefit was that I felt satisfied with myself because I was able to finish my work in time. I like the feeling when I know that a task is completed 100% and not just 95%.


ESTIMATE THE EFFORT FOR ACTIVITIES

PT: What difficulties did you encounter?

G: The main difficulty I encountered was the fact that since I had little experience in estimation my first estimations were bad. I just assigned some time without analysing 100% what the task was about.

PT: How did you overcome the difficulties?
G: Before I began the estimation I made sure that I understood everything the task is about, in this way there are no aspects that I haven’t considered while estimating.

PT: What benefits did you receive?
G: The main benefit was that I gained experience in estimating my tasks.


MAKE THE POMODORO MORE EFFECTIVE

PT: What difficulties did you encounter?

G: The main difficulty I encountered was to figure out that time when I had to start reviewing what I have done in the current pomodoro.

PT: How did you overcome the difficulties?
G: To overcome the difficulty I had to be more aware of the remaining time. I gained experience to know when it was the correct time to review the work I did in the current pomodoro.

PT: What benefits did you receive?
G: The benefit I got was that it allowed me to check for code mistakes that I made during my current pomodoro.


SET UP A TIMETABLE

PT: What difficulties did you encounter?

G: The difficulties I encountered was that I had problems arriving early at work. This didn’t alllow me to have a fixed timetable. Then it happened that sometimes I hade to stay more time at work than planned.

PT: How did you overcome the difficulties?
G: To overcome the fact of me arriving late I had to have more discipline at home and make more effort to arrive in the office early. Regarding me staying extra time at work I tried to allow this only a couple of days and no more.

PT: What benefits did you receive?
G: The benefits I earned were that I had a more structured time for work and that I arrived earlier at work.


DEFINE YOUR OWN OBJECTIVE

PT: What did you choose as your personal objective?

G: My personal improvement was to manage free time or vacation time. I don’t get much days off at work so when I get some I have to use them wisley. I use the Pomodoro Technique to do 3 things: arrange personal things (room, study room), read books and learn new things.

PT: What difficulties did you encounter?
G: What I found most difficult was to assign the correct amount of Pomodoros for each task beloning to each objective. Since these are not tasks that I’m used to do I didn’t have a good estimate.

PT: How did you overcome the difficulties?
G: In order to overcome the difficulties I had to make several esitmates of the Pomodoros assignes to each task.

PT: What benefits did you receive?
G: The main benefits was that I was able to use my free time wisely and complete the tasks that were pending for a long time. Beside when I finished them I was able to enjoy my time on other leisure activities.

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