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The power of Pomodoro (or, how to slice your time to stay on task)

Jeffery Battersby | May 8, 2015
If there is a single conundrum of working with technology it's how to stay on task with so many little distractions vying for your attention. How to stay focused? Well, it may be as simple as turning off notifications, trimming open apps down to only those required to get your job done, and keeping a timer ticking in the background to help keep you on task.

Vitamin-R is available for Mac and iOS and, if you have a Dropbox account, allows you to synchronize log and task data across all your devices. What makes Vitamin-R great is how it conforms to your needs rather than to some strict, predefined Pomodoro structure.

To begin, open the app, provide a brief description of the task at hand, select the apps you want Vitamin-R to quit before you begin your task, set the length of your timeslice, start the timer and begin working.

As you work, Vitamin-R will remind you to stay on task with an occasional, gentle watch tick and an even more occasional update on how much time you have left. For me, these reminders work as a gentle prod, pushing me forward to the end of my task. Once a slice is complete, you can provide feedback (or not) and take a break, continue the task at hand, or start something new.

In addition to timing, Vitamin-R also offers a built-in noise machine to help you ignore audible distractions, tools for collecting ideas, and, if you decide to enter notes and other information at the end of each timeslice, will keep stats and help you learn more about how you work best.

 

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