It keeps you hydrated (drink water, tea [caffeine free in the afternoon] and coffee) and makes sure you don't sit at your desk for too long periods at a time.
I feel like a lot of these "life hack" kinda things are essentially just little pieces of entertainment/motivation you need to muster the initial energy needed to break a bad habit. Pomodoro sounds fun, it means tomato. It might let you fiddle with an app. You can track your progress and have fun charts to compare with potentially exciting results. And you have a story to tell people when they ask about your work.
The actual benefit of partitioning your day into exact 25 minute intervals is probably negligible, but while you're dealing with all this, you're actively working on being more productive and that alone has its benefits. It's probably a chicken-or-the-egg problem or even a plain old placebo effect, but it seems to work. Especially engineering types (as most people on hackernews) tend to have a problem accepting how convoluted psychology is, but sometimes just the decision to try to fix something fixes it.
Since quite some time, the bio on my Twitter is "This process emits code when Premium Cola is present on stdin."
Some time ago, I was making myself another cup at work late afternoon when my boss came, and he asked me if I'm staying longer today. I said no, I'm just staying for about one more tea. He asked me, jokingly, if I measure my work time in teas? I said, actually, I do - one tea takes me ~25-30 minutes to drink, so it's a pretty good unit of time...
If you're worried about bad chemicals that can't be washed off then the core would likely be poisoned as well because it's going through the skin.
For dirt, you can just wash it. Dirt is not harmful and doesn't penetrate the fruit.
About chemicals, a large part stays in the skin of fruits / vegetables, so it's always better to remove it when you're eating non organic food.
Guess people who want to try out standing desk may also need pair of a good & soft running shoes.
7 days per week, averaging 11 hours per day you're going to have a pretty solid case of burn-out after you do that for a few years more.
Work-life balance is important if you want to avoid that sort of episode. I wished I could go back in time and do a couple of years again with a bit less pressure.
"In the morning, there is a peak of productivity around 10AM, then it decreases until lunch time. After lunch, it starts to increase with a peak around 4PM, then it starts to decrease from 4PM until 7PM. Then, again, starting from 8PM, I restart working and there is a gradual increase with a peak at 11PM. The reason there is a peak at 11PM is that I often set myself a goal of total number of Pomodoros per day, and I try my best to achieve it during the day. Almost always, I end up not being able to achieve it during the day, and thus I try to do the best to achieve it in the evening."
My routine is simple and takes a total of 4hrs. I leave the rest of time to other unplanned things that come up.
Been attempting to follow the routine for a couple weeks. As a result I have noticed these changes:
* Consistent reading habit.
* Haven’t even thought about watching TV for more than a week.
* Had lunches and dinners on time.
* Slept by 10:30pm
* Have not refreshed HN frontpage every hour (I have forgotten about HN for an entire day sometimes).
If anyone is interested, I have details about my routine and the reason behind my simple routine - http://hashnuke.com/gtd-workflow-2.html
However, I get stuck just like everyone else, and I think "getting stuck" is the problem Pomodoro is _really_ trying to solve, but to me it feels unnatural. My own method of getting unstuck is:
1. First consciously "notice" deviation (being susceptible to 30sec check of HN or whatever), I tend to start deviating because I have found a natural break or because I am stuck (deviating in quick succession). Either way I should make it a proper break, go make a cup of tea and leave the computer, think about where I am. Recognising this is not as easy as you might think at first.
2. If this is a repeat occurrence within some short period of time then I am stuck... noticing this is important because rather than just grinding away harder, it is likely a change strategy is needed in order to get back into "the mode". There is no silver bullet here, but I have a few tricks, for coding in general i find that moving to work on different areas or levels of abstraction help prune the decision tree higher up which can get you out of a little local minima with too many decisions that are grinding you to a halt.
I suppose what I am doing that Pomorado seems to lack is finding natural breaks and trying to introspect in the natural break to determine if I am breaking too frequently and if there is a reason (I'm not suggesting it should be ok to have absolutely no breaks, but that lack of concentration can sometimes be an indicator of an issue with your strategy for the current work.)
When your break is on a fixed schedule, you're more likely to have something left half-finished. That makes it much easier to jump back in 5 minutes later.
Personally I gain more from the easy resumability than I lose by not having the break-for-abstract-thinking which you describe. Doubtless this varies massively between from person to person.
This might make sense from a procrastination point of view, but my point is that you should stop there to revise your strategy so that it will be _easier_ to resume. But with pomorado you just have to grind through because your 20mins isn't up yet... To me that seems inefficient.
When I say stuck I don't mean a hard challenging or complex part, I mean you really are stuck and that's why you should stop, because you aren't making significant progress and it's inefficient. You don't necessarily need to give it deep thought like I suggested, sometimes simply having a break is enough to give you a fresh perspective once you go back.
Anyway, it's all subjective, not only to the individual but probably also the task.
I think you people use different definitions of "break". What you (tomxor) describe as "revise your strategy" is probably a task that the other person thinks should be done within the 20 pomodoro minutes, and then a break is not "stop your actual work to think about your work instead" but rather "play angry birds" or "have a water cooler chat".
At least to me, if I get stuck but know that I have time left in my 20 minutes, I am more likely to switch to rethinking my strategy than if I feel like I have the option of taking a break right now.
The trick to that seems to be that the break is something mundane like walking around, getting a drink; not focusing your attention on something else.
Nowadays I wouldn't think in using it, because my current work requires me to be interrupted plenty of times a day. Pomodoro is terrible if your activities include interacting with other people. But for me it really worked.
Applying these things to drudgery causes a level of burnout from which its almost impossible to recover.
Do not sweat the irrelevant stuff.
My goal every day is to get 6 blocks of 45 minutes, which is 4.5 hours of real work. Seems sufficient for me so far ...
now it locks input for 5 min, and even if replug usb its still locked. only reboot easily clears it.
its been amazing. that little kick makes a huge difference. triggers 5sec of rage everytime, and then im up walking around. its beautiful.
usually i do 40 min with 15 min break, but keyboard only locks for 5 min.
after the lock, the firs keyboard/mouse input resets the timer automatically.
He also expanded that section into a full article:
Here is an excerpt I think you might find useful: "This tip has had the greatest benefit to my effectiveness: When you want to work on a task (e.g., from your to-do list), get your mind to enter a specific 'mode' where it only knows how to do that task. Forget everything else. Remain fixed in that mode until you get tired and have to "break character". Then move onto the next task and repeat."
I think it addresses: "Tasks take way longer to complete with forced breaks, especially if the breaks are longer."
One thing I do is, before I take a break, I dump my current notes, as well as things I'd like to do, into a Google Doc. When I return from my break, I take the time to read the notes, which loads pertinent facts back into working memory and gets me back into it.
Another practice that helps is that I let a fine-grained todo list guide me during work. I make sure to explicitly mark what I am currently working on. If I get distracted, it is straightforward to remind myself what I was doing, and once I am done with it, I know exactly what I should be doing next.
When this doesn't work, it usually means I'm spinning my wheels on something and not getting anywhere. On those days I tend to set up an hourly "write down what you're doing" reminder - it's just enough of a reminder that I notice the lack of progress and switch to something else, without losing any kind of groove if things are going well.
But personally, I go to a coffee shop and get a ridiculous amount of work done, because I know I can ignore everything that happens around me. At work people ask me questions, or at home the cats celebrate my presence by knocking stuff over and then throwing up on it - anywhere else, and the only channels to reach me are async (chat/email) or high enough priority that they're worth never ignoring (phone, pagerduty, etc).
When I first started experimenting with it, I though to myself: my work day is 8 hours, so I should expect ~15-16 pomodoros; say 14 if I take a lunch break. Between stress, interruptions and procrastination, reality turned out to be more like 5-8.
These days I assume that a good, practical goal to aim for (at work) is as many pomodoros as you have working hours.
Six hours of good focused work is about all I can manage in a day.
I do most of the pomodoros in the morning between 8 and 12:30, when I take an hour break. The afternoon is usually just finishing things off or preparing for the next day.
I average 1-2 pomodoro per week and it's used only for cleaning my apartment.
I have never been successful for doing it for work or side projects or anything else.
I am probably the least successful pomodoro example thou. /shrug
spaced repetition is life changing
I've tried using Anki for things, but I struggled with figuring out how to put things on cards. Languages are easy - you put vocabulary. History sounds easy too - you put dates and names.
But how on Earth do you use Anki for Haskell? How do you use spaced repetition to learn fields that's about concepts, not memorizing bite-sized facts and factoids? I would love to know that, since most of the things I'm trying to master have to do with things I find too large to put on a flashcard.
I use to ONLY read physical books, but after speaking with someone else on hacker news about it, I use the kindle only, and heavily use the kindle highlight feature, download them, and create tons of flash cards using cloze deletion in anki. I also use kindle highlights to keep track of vocabulary i am unfamiliar with.
For math related stuff, I have two way cards for tons of theorems. example "what is the law of large numbers", "what is mean's value theorem", "what is the definition of taylor-series expansion", "what is the difference between a taylor and maclaurin series". I have hundreds of these cards that I can review anytime I want. My programming cards are very similar. I try to create very concise cards, based on the steps found here: https://www.supermemo.com/en/articles/20rules
I am just starting to experiment with incremental reading now too: https://www.supermemo.com/help/read.htm. I have only been using it for a few weeks, but im convinced this is the way to do it.
If anyone has any questions or comments, send them my way -- These methods are not perfect, but they work for me, and I am always trying to improve them.
On last thing that helped me with anki, if you can figure out a way to add an image to the card, add it, if it seems superfluous --- this really helps with retention.
Don't get me wrong, I think memorization is still useful for things like Haskell. You already have to have learned the concepts, but Anki helps you migrate what you've learned to a part of your brain where you just know them, no extra conscious effort required. Eventually this has to happen with what you already know if you are going to tackle bigger concepts, Anki just streamlines it.
It's probably not amazingly useful in that context, but it may help to feel fluent faster, which could help with other things.