In an earlier article I wrote about using a timer to set a short time goal for getting your work done and maintaining focus.
I also wrote about the Pomodoro technique which is about using a 25 minute countdown timer for working in small bursts of time.
The Pomodoro technique was recently voted the most popular productivity technique on the Lifehacker web site and described in a recent article.
This blog article is about a countdown timer I wrote which runs as a standalone Windows or MacOS application. The download link is at the end of the article.
First of all, download the program and open the Zip file. Locate the applications.window or application.macosx folder and copy to your desktop. Create a short cut to make it easy to find the program.
The Program starts with an instruction screen.
Type a letter or number to start the timer with your choice of the total duration
T - 30 minutes P - 25 minutes (this is the basis of the Pomodoro method) p 18 minutes (a shorter "dash" of 18 minutes) 0 10 minutes 7, 5, 3, 2, 1 - minutes corresponding to the number pressed R is a shortcut for a 5 minute rest break r is a shortcut for a 2 minute rest break x Run the timer for 5 seconds - used during program testing. S Stops the timer and displays the instruction screen.
The window title changes to “Pomodoro NN minutes” where NN is the number of minutes you chose, and the timer starts. This is the screen shortly after typing P.
The elapsed time is shown in minutes and seconds on the left
A red bar is drawn representing the remaining time.
The background grid lines are one minute apart with a darker colour at five minute intervals.
Once the Pomodoro time has passed, the elapsed time is displayed in red and the background colour flashes green every 3 seconds to attract your attention.
How to use the timer for Pomodoro dashes of 25 minutes.
- Decide what task you will work on.
- Start the timer by pressing the letter P.
- Work on that task until the time has passed.
- Take a short timed rest by pressing P.
- Once the rest break has elapsed go back to step 1.
Download the file from this YouSendit link. The link expires on March 14th.
The program was written in the Java-based Processing language.