How the Pomodoro Technique Is Going to Save My Marriage

Friday, November 8, 2013

This weekend is going to suck.

I had been looking forward to this weekend because it's a long one; we teachers have Monday off. Then I took a look at my to-do list and realized I'd rather go to work.

Things I have to do this weekend:

  • Finish grading 67 essays
  • Grade 67 worksheets
  • Write a rough draft of a presentation I'm giving at a social media conference
  • Write stories for See Jane Write Magazine
  • #bloglikecrazy (which not only includes writing my own posts but also reading and promoting the posts of others)
  • Write a test on Edgar Allan Poe and American Romanticism
  • Draft a study guide for that test
  • Plan discussion for chapters 1-6 of The Scarlet Letter
  • Walk/run 8 miles
  • Clean my apartment
  • Buy groceries
  • Cook
  • Visit two different doctors on two opposite sides of town for two not-so-pleasant medical exams on the same day

And at some point I should shower and eat, but I'm not sure if those things will happen.

Chances are I will be an awful person to live with this weekend, and not just because I probably won't bathe. When I am stressed I am an evil witch and my poor, poor husband is usually the victim of my mean girl routine.

But here's how I'm going to try to avoid being a jerk and save my marriage this weekend: the Pomodoro app.

The Pomodoro Technique, developed by Francesco Cirillo is simple, yet brilliant. You break down your work in 25-minute intervals, taking five-minute breaks after each one. After four work periods you take a longer break of about 20 minutes (enough time to grab a sandwich or a shower).

The technique is based on the idea that the frequent breaks will keep you sharp. And it works!

I first learned about this technique and the app (which is basically just a timer) back in August when my pal Williesha Morris mentioned it in a talk she gave at WordCamp Birmingham.

There's something about racing the clock that helps me focus and be super productive. And as short as those five-minute breaks are, they do actually keep me from burning out too soon.

And the timer turns the process of working through my to-list into a game.

I'm hoping all of this will keep me from having a such a nasty attitude about the fact that I will be spending my entire 3-day-weekend working and the fact that I'm not even going to have time to watch the Alabama v. LSU game. And I'm hoping it will keep my husband from wanting to file for divorce.

What's your favorite app? 


  1. I started using the Pomodoro technique this summer and LOVE it. It really is the best when you have those mile-long to-do lists.

  2. I missed this post when you published it. Glad it's useful!