I have a lot to say about this book, primarily because it is one of the few books I've read that has been amazing in pretty much every way:
* Its purpose is clear and useful: how to manage your time better.
* The writing is thoughtful, pragmatic, and extremely captivating: the author does an excellent job conveying his thoughts to you in the text.
* The flow of the book is simple and straightforward.
* The illustrations in the book are fun, educational, and beautiful.
* The layout of the book is structured in a very intuitive way: each section covers various short topics, each about a page in length. This makes it very easy to flip through for later reference, and find information on specific topics.
If you're wondering whether or not to buy this book: do it now! I promise you will enjoy it, and the benefits greatly outweigh the cost.
Onto the actual book review! :)
This book teaches you the Pomodoro Technique--a simple time management technique that has been around since the 80s. The main points of the Pomodoro Technique can be summed up as follows:
* The human mind is awful at multitasking.
* When you are intensely focused on a single task, you work more effectively, and feel more productive.
* Procrastination stems from anxiety about the future.
* You are less likely to procrastinate if you know that you only need to do a small thing.
* A single Pomodoro is a 25 minute chunk of working time, followed by a break.
* By working on a single task for a 25 minute chunk of time, you are able to focus intensely on a single task and make a lot of progress.
* After a 25 minute chunk (a Pomodoro), you reward yourself with a short break.
* Before starting a Pomodoro, you analyze your responsibilities, and pick the most urgent thing that needs attention.
* When you work on your Pomodoro, you make a contract with yourself to intently focus on the task at hand, and nothing else.
Essentially: the Pomodoro technique is a simple time management technique that helps you stay productive, and relaxed. It helps combat stress by forcing your attention to a single thing at a time, which subsequently improves mood, productivity, and excitement.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. One Activity at a Time
Each section is filled with multiple chapters, explaining various things related to the section topic. The book is extremely easy to read (each chapter is a single page), and written in a way that draws you into the topics discussed. It was hard to put this book down as I was reading it.
This is an *awesome* book. It should be required reading for anyone who does any sort of work that requires extensive brainpower. Since reading this book, I've been practicing the Pomodoro technique almost every day, to great results:
- I feel much more relaxed while I'm working.
- I feel a greater sense of accomplishment at the end of the day.
- I know that I'm making progress on my projects.
- I'm able to really enjoy what I'm doing at a much higher level than I was before.
To me, the Pomodoro Technique *feels right*. It feels natural. It's not one of those things that you read about, and never implement because it is time consuming, confusing, or difficult: it is easy, and you will *want* to do it!
I highly recommend this book.
Staffan: if, by chance, you end up reading this review: Thanks for writing this book--it has really changed my life for the better.
I read about the Pomodoro technique online, so I was interested in trying a book on it. I saw this one in my local bookstore and got it, and it was not an enjoyable experience at all.
There is just too much information in the book that is mildly interesting but tangential at best in relation to the Pomodoro Technique. Some of the information seemed marginally relevant, and I kept waiting for the author to tie it into the technique and he didn't. Also, the prose is very painful to get through. It feels like maybe an engineer would get more out of this dry reading experience.
I wanted to rate this higher because I'm a fan of the technique and the author seems like a nice, enthusiastic fellow, but I had to really force myself to finish the book. Later on I realized the actual creator of the Pomodoro Technique has a free downloadable PDF available on his website that explains the technique in a more concise and straightforward method. I downloaded that and read it and it was far more enjoyable and helpful to me.
The Pomodoro approach basically is perform tasks within a time-boxes with a timer enforcing the timebox. The basic approach suggests a 25 minute timebox with relaxing and retrospection outside of the time-boxes. It is a well written book that is easy to read with some lots of sketches that were watercolored by the author. There are also mindmaps of each chapter although they were not all that helpful to me. I have been convinced to try to the technique as an execution technique below a GTD task tracking system. There is a free pdf-book by the inventor of the technique which is also worth reading. This book contributes additional useful process to the method. Pragmatic Programmers (the publisher) has mobile versions of the book.
I have been talking a lot about "agility at a personal level" -- both at conferences on software development and within organizations. I was really intrigued with this book and looking forward to seeing it in print. The text is imminently readable and the drawings and mind maps are captivating. Researchers are telling us that drawing and doodling are the best pathways to our memories--Staffan takes full advantage of this! He describes specific techniques that help us achieve the grander goals of: becoming more productive, increasing focus, creating a feeling of accomplishment at the end of the day, cutting down the stress of wasted multi-tasking. I love it! I hope you find it's the perfect book to start out the new year!
I am a Kindle fan, but the drawings in the text version make it worth having a printed copy. And don't forget to buy a timer! Yes, a Pomodoro (tomato) is good, but I bought a lady bug :-)!
When I first heard about the pomodoro technique, I was intrigued by its simplicity and the ease with which you can apply it to your daily routine. Whether you're a programmer, writer, artist, baker, telemarketer, or anything in between, the simple concepts in pomodoro can help you make better use of your time.
The technique is so simple, in fact, that I was skeptical when I heard that Staffan was writing a book about it. How can you fill a book with something that can be described in two sentences? Staffan does a great job of both explaining the technique and interweaving a huge variety of related tips to help put it to use, each accompanied by an illustration to help cement the tip in your mind. I can hardly imagine a more fun and rewarding way to learn pomodoro!