In this post, I want to talk about my favourite application/tool to get more done. It was introduced to me by a friend of mine few weeks back. I started using the Pomodoro Challenge Timer (Android app) and since then my productivity has skyrocketed.
This particular app is based on the Pomodoro Technique of Productivity.
In a nutshell, the Pomodoro technique uses a timer to break down your work into intervals traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks (5 minutes) . The method is based on the idea that frequent breaks can improve mental agility.
The entire premise of the Pomodoro Technique is that you focus on one single task without any interruptions. You block out all other distractions during that time.
We all know that if we are focussed , we can get more done, Right? Easier said than done. In this darn age there are tons of distractions (cat pictures, coworkers, app alerts,emails,etc) and most of the time we are in reactive mode. We react to everything that happens around us and we lose control of our time and hence our productivity. Have you ever gone home wondering where all the time went? (I have many times)
The Pomodoro Technique is a remedy for that. The technique helps you to focus on one task for a set time period and take a quick break. By single-handling your task, you are able to get things done.
Here is more information on how the Pomodoro Technique works.
And there are tons of desktop and mobile applications available based on this technique.
However, this particular app – POMODORO CHALLENGE TIMER is the best.
And this is why?
1. FORCED DISCIPLINE
There is something about a ticking clock that just makes your more resourceful. Maybe it is because we are visual creatures, and the sight of a timer makes us realize that our time is finite. And we want to make the most use of our time. I think it puts a fire under your butt to get to work.
In the app,you are able to create multiple projects (There are limits on the free version, however the paid version is only $3.49), and also set the time blocks i.e how long you want each session to last,how long you want your break to be, etc. So you have the flexibility to modify to the way you see fit.
2. STATISTICS & ANALYTICS
Peter Drucker has quoted that “What gets measured gets improved”.
The app provides excellent statistics and data visualization. It tells you:
- How many times you have used the app each day to do your projects?
- How do you fare each day?
And breaks down all that into daily,weekly, hourly stats; and also tells you all the projects that you have spent most time on.
And best of all the stats look pretty with pictures and graphs.
Here is my favourite feature . I love Gamification . I try to apply it to everything I do in my life. It just makes your work, your goals,your projects more fun. Every company has sales contests for that reason. It makes you more competitive and brings out the best in people.
You get rewards/achievements based on how often you use the tool , and how well you complete the projects.
The more you use it, the more achievements you get. You are ranked based on how you work.
As I am writing this post, my rank is Persistent Slacker (no explanation needed here – I need to get more done lol ).
The app works as both your Accountability Partner and Coach.
Here is the annoying and fun part. I mentioned about unlocking new achievements for finishing projects.
But you also get demoted if you don’t complete and record your projects. For the past few days I did not use the app and I got demoted 🙁 in my ranking. And when I saw that, I wanted to make sure I used the app more. It has forced me to get back to working on my goals and tasks.
There are also alarms and notifications that go on (they are loud and annoying) when you take too long of a break. Let’s say you are taking your 5 minute break ; and then you get distracted into doing something else (like watching dozens of cat videos on YouTube). As you get into the Slacking mode, you will hear a loud whistle. It is your call to get back to work.
It is like having a Football coach around you – so you can get back to work.
Another bonus benefit is that you can Backup your data to Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote and OneDrive.
I guarantee you that the more you use the Technique and this particular app, the more you want to stick to your projects. As I was writing this article, I got a bit distracted but that big white timer on my phone screen reminded me to get back to work.
Try the app out from the Android app store and let me know your thoughts. I am also curious to hear about your Ranking/Achievements.
Now get back to work!!