Monthly Archives: August 2014

The Pomodoro Technique

There is a growing epidemic among us…the disease of procrastination.  We all do it, probably without even realizing it. For some it  has become almost second nature. I  have suffered from this malady on more than one occasion. Handling the tenancy to procrastinate can be quite the feat, but it does not have to be. Realizing why we procrastinate is the first step in treating this affliction.

The list of things we may procrastinate about is endless, but the reason is always the same: We don’t enjoy subjecting ourselves to things we consider unpleasant. The desire to procrastinate is a coping mechanism of our unconscious mind that prevents us from feeling pain. So when we don’t want to do something it’s because our brain associates that task with pain. That said, procrastinators  fall into five different categories:

The thrill-seeker  who wait to the last minute for the euphoric rush.

“…If you’re a thrill-seeker, then you procrastinate because you actually get a rush from completing things last minute. You feel that you thrive under pressure and you love the adrenaline you get from handing in work in the last possible minute. But are you accomplishing your full potential when you’re spending so little time on your projects?” Alina Vrabie, Sandglaz Blog (Follow her on Twitter)

The Avoider

“…Who may be avoiding fear of failure or even fear of success, but in either case are very concerned with what others think of them; they would rather have others think they lack effort than ability.” Alina Vrabie, Sandglaz Blog

The Indecisive Procrastinator

“…The Indecisive Procrastinator simply can’t make a decision. Usually, this is a result of the fear they will be blamed for a negative outcome. This type of procrastinator runs away from responsibility. After all, if they’re not making a decision, the result won’t be their fault.” Alina Vrabie, Sandglaz Blog

The Perfectionist

“…Perfectionists set such high standards for themselves that they become overwhelmed. This type of procrastinator might even get started on work, which the other kinds of procrastinators usually have a hard time doing, but they fail to finish when they can’t meet the unrealistic expectations they set for themselves. 

Because they can’t do something perfectly, then nothing gets done at all. Cue cycle of anxiety and shame.” Alina Vrabie, Sandglaz Blog

The busy Procratinator

“…Busy procrastinators are just too busy to actually get down to the bottom of their to-do list. Everything seems equally important and they can’t decide what to do first. Choosing only one task would mean that the others won’t get done. Just like in the case of the Perfectionist, the Busy Procrastinator might actually start some of her work, but will fail to finish it. What this type of procrastinator needs is a big dose of prioritizing.” Alina Vrabie, Sandglaz Blog

Which one are you? Perhaps a combination of all five? The most common type of procrastinator  is the avoider. This little bugger is the voice inside your head with seductive distractions that steer you away from the task at hand. These distractions pulls us into what we call the “comfort zone.” The comfort zone is safe haven away, or retreat, from all unpleasant tasks.

How do we get back in control of ourselves and our time? In comes the Pomodoro Technique, a  time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo (he named his technique after a tomato shaped kitchen timer). The Pomodoro Technique breaks down work into 25 minute intervals with a 5 minute reward period. These breaks are known as “pomodori”,  the plural of the Italian word pomodoro for “tomato”.  This method is great if you are a obsessively-compulsive-perfectionist- procrastinator like me. This method works wonders for your productivity!

Sounds pretty rad right? But how do we implement it? Well ladies and gents I present to you the Pomodoro Technique :

 

  1. Identify a task to be accomplished.
  2. Set  your Pomodoro timer to 25 minutes
  3. Work on the task until the Pomodoro rings
  4. Take a 5 minute break
  5. Every 4 Pomodoros take a longer break (10-15 minutes)

How to get started with the Pomodoro Technique:

All you really need is a timer. Any timer will do, a phone, or web app will suffice. I found a neat timer called Tomato Timer. It’s pretty simple and offers desktop notifications (in Chrome only), which is handy little tool for us developers! *Does a happy dance off in the distance*  

 

Distractions

I’ve been very distracted the past two weeks by friends, family and a hiking mishap (I sprained my ankle 🙁 ). But no excuses! I will do better this week. I did however manage to haul my butt to my Women Who Code meetup, despite  having a maimed foot. Do I get points for effort?! 😛

At the Women Who Code meetup, we continued our Angular Phonecat tutorial. Unfortunately, we didn’t finish, so we will continue the tutorial on our own.  And next month, we will be building our own Angular web app! Yikes! I’m excited but I’m also a bit  nervous. My focus for the next few weeks will be solidifying my JavaScript skills using Treehouse and the book JavaScript the Definitive Guide.

Since I already have taken a workshop on Javascript, and know the basics, I will be focusing more on object oriented programming , including encapsulation and inheritance, object creation, and prototypes.

When I have a firm grasp on that I will also be going over CodeSchool for their free Angular tutorial.  Wish me luck!

Responsive Web Design & Study Hours

Last week I finished the Responsive Web Design course on Treehouse. Additionally, I’ve been reading Responsive Web Design with HTML5 and CSS3 by Ben Frain. So far I’ve learned quite a bit. The Treehouse  courses is a great introduction to Responsive Web Design while Frain’s book gives a deeper explanation and provides many useful tips.  I’ll post a book review when I finish reading.

In other news, yesterday I registered for a programming class, at my college.  I’m super pumped! I’m not sure what languages we’ll be learning, but I’ll find out soon enough.  It’s my first online course for a grade. Yikes! I’m not too nervous though, I’ve been teaching myself programming for a while now, this should not be too different.

As promised I’ve listed my study hours (sorry for being such a slacker, I’ll be better next time!)

Sunday: 0 hours
Monday: 3 hours
Tuesday: 2 hours
Wednesday: 3 hours
Thursday: 1 hours
Friday: 0 hours
Saturday: 3 hours