Using Your Fitbit as a Pomodoro Timer or with a Smartphone Productivity App

Using your fitbit as a pomodoro timer or together with a smartphone productivity timer

Working in intervals of 20 to 40 minutes (so-called timeboxes) interspersed with 5-minute breaks is an excellent way to increase productivity, overcome procrastination, and do something for your health at the same time. In an earlier post I have outlined some ideas on how to implement time boxing.

In the 1980s, Francesco Cirillo devised the Pomodoro Technique, a complete time management system based on the concept of timeboxing. According to him, the optimal length of a timebox is 25 minutes. He called this 25-minute interval a pomodoro. Cirillo’s technique has spawned a variety of productivity apps and timers. I’ll introduce you to one cool app below.

I have used timeboxing more or less for several years, but have also varied the work period depending on the task at hand.

If a task is very difficult or boring, starting out with only 15 minutes is fine, if that helps you to get started and avoid checking your phone. I can always do 15 minutes.

For writing, I much prefer 45 minutes of even an hour.

Recently, I got myself a Fitbit Charge 2 fitness tracker. I bought it to encourage me to move more during the day and track my sleep during the night.  It also continuously tracks my heart rate and automatically recognizes and records different exercises. For example, it detects and records when I am walking, running, or using a cross trainer or treadmill and supplies stats such as duration, calories burnt, heart rate graphs…

I have come to like my Fitbit a lot – and it can help with time boxing / pomodoros as well. Continue reading

Use Timeboxing to Stop Procrastinating and Get Things Done

Use timeboxing to boost your productivity and stop procrastinating

Most of us have a tendency to put off work we don’t like very much, or work so daunting that we cannot see how we can ever finish it.

Do you postpone work because you don’t know where to start or how to finish it?

When I was a child, we had a large garden, and if it wasn’t winter, I regularly had to attend to it and pick weeds. To me, the vegetable patches appeared to be huge. I just could not see an end to my work. And actually, there was no end to it!
My concept of time was very different from my parents’.

I became increasingly frustrated and started killing time by engaging in dirt throwing competitions with my brother. Sometimes we spend more time procrastinating than working.

This is a pity, because our productivity could have been much higher. Instead of wasting time, we could have gone for a swim or played football with our friends. We lacked structure and possibly some rewards.

If you too are procrastinating because the task at hand is too complex or time consuming, you need to break it into consumable pieces and structure it.

I know, this is easier said than done, but here is what you can do…

Spend a few minutes to reflect on what you can do to move your task forward. Ask yourself, “What are the very next action steps I have to take to move this forward?”
Note down these steps, perhaps three or four, and then get going:

Timeboxing to the Rescue

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