“Happier life, more money. During the Pomodoro break I do some stretching and drink a glass of water. This helps me to avoid back pain and headache, which I used to have due to sitting the whole day.”

Kamil Yopec – Software Developer


PT: When did you begin using the Pomodoro Technique?

K: First time I’ve heard about pomodoro in July 2011. After some research I started with the Technique in September 2011 as a student and freelancer. Nowadays I am using the Pomodoro Technique as a Software Developer.

PT: Why did you start using the Pomodoro Technique?

K: In order to increase my productivity, to achieve more tasks and eventually have more free time for my hobbies.

PT: What did you apply the technique in?

Learning languages, studying at the university, working from home, working in the office, software development. I am writing this report using the Technique.


FIND OUT HOW MUCH EFFORT AN ACTIVITY REQUIRES

PT: What difficulties did you encounter?

K: I used to forget to make a mark on my to do list after each Pomodoro and therefore I couldn’t calculate the effort.

PT: How did you overcome the difficulties?

K: I created a habit of it. Every ring means to put a mark on my to do list. I do it automatically without thinking about it.

PT: What benefits did you receive?

K: I exactly know what I am doing the whole day and see how much effort an activity costs. I can take better decisions if necessary.


CUT DOWN ON INTERRUPTIONS

PT: What difficulties did you encounter?

K: In the beginning I had problems with Email, Facebook and other social networks. I had to check every few minutes new emails or posts. People used to interrupt me a lot in the beginning, asking for advise etc.

PT: How did you overcome the difficulties?

K: Internal – I removed all possibilities to access the Email, Facebook. Logged out, removed bookmarks, didn’t save passwords. Every time I want to access those sites I have to fill in the username and password, which always reminds me that I am working on something.
External – I educated my coworkers that when having my earphones on, I don’t want to be distracted unless it is an emergency. When I am in the middle of a Pomodoro I have my earphones on also if I don’t listen to any music. Usually I go to work earlier then my colleagues and have some time to do the most important things of the day.

PT: What benefits did you receive?

K: I work without interruptions on tasks that have to be done. I get my work faster done and I am more productive.


ESTIMATE THE EFFORT FOR ACTIVITIES

PT: What difficulties did you encounter?

K: At the beginning my estimations were not very exact and I didn’t know how to break down task to smaller chunks. In software development done means done, including testing, design and many more things. I used to forget about this and estimated only the time to make it work, not for getting it done.

PT: How did you overcome the difficulties?

K: With time I learned how to estimate.

PT: What benefits did you receive?

K: I am able to estimate tasks better then anyone else, because of my daily experience. I can estimate what I can do in one day and following the project release date. Everybody sees tasks as a long term task. But I always break it down to in smaller pieces, estimate it. It’s easier to work when you see the end.


MAKE THE POMODORO MORE EFFECTIVE

PT: What difficulties did you encounter?

K: It took me some time to find out what this objective is about and to get a deeper understanding. Sometimes I get too much into the flow of doing something that I forget to do reviews.

PT: How did you overcome the difficulties?

K: I read the Pomodoro Book. I have the clock always visible and when time is coming to the end I stop working and review what I’ve been working on.

PT: What benefits did you receive?

K: Recap it is nice to see what the task actually is about. I plan the next steps a bit deeper in my mind or on paper. When I review code I check what I have done and commit it to the version control system. While learning languages I repeat the vocabulary.


SET UP A TIMETABLE

PT: What difficulties did you encounter?

K: I plan the difficult tasks in the morning because I am always more productive then in the afternoon. Sometimes these tasks depend on other people which are not at work at that time.

PT: How did you overcome the difficulties?

K: While planning I always consider also the availability of other people which have to be involved in a certain task.

PT: What benefits did you receive?

K: I can accomplish the tasks which requires a lot of thinking and creativity at the beginning.


DEFINE YOUR OWN OBJECTIVE

PT: What did you choose as your personal objective?

K: Increase productivity, less stress. I want to be good in what I do. Learning and keep a balance between learning and working.

PT: What difficulties did you encounter?

K: First difficulty was to get things done. I always had a problem to start and I was scared on the amount of things that had to be done. At work I was always working and not learning new technologies. Because in this moment it was not as urgent as some tasks. But learning is essential, learning is the key.

PT: How did you overcome the difficulties?

K: Pomodoro itself helped me a lot. Set a timer and start working. I plan learning as a task on my Activity Inventory List.

PT: What benefits did you receive?

K: Happier life, more money. During the Pomodoro break I do some stretching and drink a glass of water. This helps me to avoid back pain and headache, which I used to have due to sitting the whole day.