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Kingsley Ubah
Kingsley Ubah

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How the Pomodoro Technique Made Me a Better Developer and Writer (and you too)

As I have stated a number of times, one of the biggest factors that holds people back from their goal is lack of focus.

Focus is the life-blood of progress. Without focus, you're just wasting your time. Focus is your ability to leave aside other secondary activities to instead channel your unwavering attention towards your main task or agenda.

In one of my previous articles , I mentioned how poor time management proved to be my undoing as a web developer at the onset.

The things is when you mismanage your time, your focus is also affected.

What is the Pomodoro Technique

The pomodoro technique is a highly effective pro-productivity strategy discovered by an Italian student, Francesco Cirrillo, in the 1980s.

Cirillo was a student struggling to focus on his studies. He challenged himself to commit just 10 minutes of his time to focused studying without any distractions. Encouraged by the challenge, he found a tomato (which is 'pomodoro' in Italian) shaped kitchen timer, and thus the Pomodoro technique was born.

Here are the core tenets of this technique:

  • Get a to-do list and a timer.

  • Set your timer for 25 minutes, and focus on a single task until the timer rings.

  • When your session ends, mark off one pomodoro and record what you completed.

  • Then enjoy a five-minute break.

  • After four pomodoros, take a longer 15-30 minute break.

How I discovered this technique

I first learnt about this technique from the radio on my way to a lecture.

After that I did some further research and came across an amazing Tedtalk on it's effectiveness. After getting blown away by it's novelty, I decided to incorporate it into my lifestyle.

Writing Challenge

Everyday, I would commit at least 30-50 minutes to writing. It didn't matter if my work was structured or meaningful, I just wrote. I made sure to get rid of all distractions. My phone was always switched off.

I tried to pen down my thoughts without thinking much about anything else.

The Results

Even with my limited time, I was able to achieve some incredible feats. I published at least four articles on my blogs every week.

This wouldn't have been possible without focused work and dedication which results from implementing the technique.

Coding Challenge

Daily coding routines was something else I got serious about. I dedicated at least 1 hour of my time to programming websites and designing pages.

I also listed out 7 web technologies which I dedicated at least 30 minutes per day to learn.

They are:

  • HTML
  • CSS
  • JavaScript
  • React
  • Vue
  • Node js
  • Git

The Results

After every session, I got more and more self-assured of my abilities. My React skills started getting better and better. I have also extensively used other libraries like GraphQL and Redux.

And perhaps the most important, my CSS skills got significantly better.

Honestly, this technique can do wonders to your programming skills if properly utilized.

Content creation on Twitter

This technique also made me much more productive on Twitter. Under it's auspices, I went from around 8,000 to currently 11,100+ followers within 5 weeks!

I also compiled over 10 threads though some of them were just a repurpose.

With the pomodoro technique, I was able to dramatically scale up my productivity despite having the same limited amount of time.

Not only have I made myself more productive, I have trained myself to be disciplined, habitually focused and also more aware of how valuable my time is.

The pomodoro technique opens your eyes to your true capabilities and shows you just how much you can achieve if you manage your time well and eliminate all forms of distractions.

Also, thanks to this technique, I am able to set a time limit to everything I do. That way, I don't get carried away or preoccupied by a particular task.

For some endless tasks like reading or scrolling through my Twitter feed, I am able to recognize when I have "overdone" it thanks to the time awareness and set boundaries accordingly.

Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus. - Alexander Graham Bell

I will advice anyone looking to become more productive to try out this technique from today. I am very positive your life will change, or improve!

If you benefitted from this article and would like to support:

Thank you and see you soon.

P/S: If you are in need of a detailed resource on Web Development, check out HTML To React

Top comments (5)

tamirazrab profile image

I agree I'm currently following this pattern as well, but I don't like just 25 minutes only. It's less for coding, I shifted to 51/17 pattern, where I code for 51 rest for 17, it was good but then as days passed by it felt hard to actually start so I lowered it to 30/5. But I think if you are not learning and just coding 51/17 is good pattern, especially if you are stuck with some error.

siddharthshyniben profile image

I don't use it because I can focus anyways and I think a timer would distract me more

joaozitopolo profile image
Joao Polo

Try to use an app called Brain Focus... It's free. It helped me, because it uses s task list and pomodoro sessions, with cool statistics.

kedargit profile image
Kedar Godkhindi

This is good concept. Will try this

joaozitopolo profile image
Joao Polo • Edited

Awesome! I agree 1000%.
I have a tip: read the book called Limitless, from Jim Kwik... It is opening my mind to how to learn new things... And, of course, he recommends Pomodoro technique. 😀