For a while now, I'v been using the pomodoro technique (Wikipedia) to be more efficient when working. I found it to be quite the efficient procrastination buster. Developed by Francesco Cirillo, the pomodoro technique is based on the idea of structuring your work into fixed intervals of roughly 25 minutes. While working avoid any distraction and keep focussed on the current task. After each work interval take a short break (~5 minutes) and then continue with the next work interval. Every four work intervals take a longer breaks (15 - 30 minutes).
Cirillo originally proposed a physical kitchen timer to track the time. However why add another tool into the mix, when you're sitting already in front of a computer? To help me track the time, I wrote a simple HTML5 timer. Originally it only tracked the intervals and played an alarm once the time ran out. Quite serviceable as it was, I find it now much more useful now after some minor tweaks:
- Offline support, no web connection required
- Responsive UI, works on any screen size
- Web notifications as an alternative to the alarm sound
- Ability to start the next interval by clicking on the notification
The notification feature allows the following work flow: You start the timer and the clock starts ticking. Once the time runs out, a notification is displayed. Now, you can continue with the next interval by simply clicking on the notification. No need to look up the tab and start hunting for the correct button. If you miss the notification, no problem just start the next interval by hand and continue as before.