Sunday, May 31, 2009

Ultimate Pomodoro?

What is the major problem of using the Pomodoro Technique? I think it's a sharing one. You see, when you're "in the middle of a pomodoro", no one really cares - your team mates will go on interrupting you anyway!

So, you need to synchronize it somehow. Setting a single timer per team is a bad idea, for the obvious reasons. What I suggest to do is to invent some kind of a Pomodoro Server and track your current status there (team-wise or project-wise). Of course, the policy should be invented for all team members to check this status before interrupting another person.

Sample feature list:
  • Notification when required person's pomodoro has finished
  • Integration with your corporate favourite IM client as a plugin
  • Integration with popular issue tracking systems via plugins
  • Speach recognition to simplify items entry
  • Flexible hotkeys for all frequent actions to make things even easier
  • Statistics gathering to analyze and boost personal productivity
Hope to find some time to figure it out in a further detail... Frankly speaking, already tried some of the most popular open source voice recognition tools. It seems that either my microphone, or my English, or these tools, or its' settings, or alltogether are too bad to recognize anything but "one [pause] two". With 25% accuracy. Sigh...


  1. Hi Constantine,

    I was thinking about almost the same just a few days ago when I wrote this blog post:

    The last items in my wish list for a screen timer was:
    * P2P communication between members' screen timers
    - See the title of your friends present Pomodoro
    - Delayed messaging to a friend - appears in the recipient's timer when it rings

    // Staffan Nöteberg

  2. Great idea Constantine... but in the meantime, I do wonder if we can devise a system that works without software.

    I think the strength of Pomodoro is precisely it's simplicity, this does make things way more complex, perhaps just a cork board and some agreed upon interruption rules would suffice. I will think about it some more, but good idea indeed.

    Joseph Hurtado
    On Twitter:
    On Blogosphere:

  3. This is really a problem, but I think there is a very simple solution that helps.

    The trick is the earphones and a good playlist. It helps focusing and keeps the anoying co-workers off.

    I created some perfect pomodoro playlists (25 minutes long) at the blog on the site :-)

  4. I think that earphones solution won't fit everyone. For example it doesn't fit me for sure - I just lose concentration and start producing more bugs.

    But according to the survey ( more people prefer doing this, so should work for the majority.

    Also (I don't remember where) I've read some facts from physiology that background music occupies some particular brain areas responsible for creativity.