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Why the Pomodoro Technique works for me

What is the Pomodoro Technique?

If you’re the type of person who prefers to what a video, here’s a quick introduction.

If you don’t like watching videos, let me explain. The Pomodoro Technique uses a wind-up timer to manage time and tasks. The name ‘Pomodoro’ is Spanish for tomato. I’m not sure how common wind-up tomato times are in the UK, but I think it’s more common for us to use egg timers. Perhaps it’s named after tomato timers because egg in Spanish (huevo) is not as obvious to pronounce.

The techniqued was devise by Francesco Cirillo in the late 80s and there’s even a book about it (and an illustrated version too).

The crux of the technique is this. You set the egg timer to 25 minutes, focus on a single task, and avoid distractions and interruptions like phone calls, emails and social media. Once the 25 minutes is finished, you have a five minute break. When you’ve completed four ‘Pomodoros’ (sets of 25 minutes + 5 minute break), you have a 15-20 minute break.

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A couple of weeks ago, I went to the first Freelance-a-lot event at Kosmonaut in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. There was a good mix of businesses from different industries and it was great to chat to a software engineer, copywriter and video storyteller, as well as both the sponsors, IPSE and FreeAgent. As a small business, it’s great to get together with other creative businesses and share ideas.

Chris Williams from Network Freelance did a quick introduction to the #FeeNotFree campaign ( Right at the start, he asked us who had been exploited and some people raised their hands. But it seemed everyone related to a video about The Vendor Client Relationship that he showed next.

The video features actors playing out several scenarios of people buying things from small businesses. One of the scenarios is set in a DVD store.

“This is marked $19.99” says the customer, holding up a DVD. “Well, I’ve only got $7 set aside for this.”

After a while he says, “OK, let me make a phone call and see what I can do.

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10 reasons WordCamp London was the best conference I’ve ever been to


Reason one: The location.

London is 2oo miles away from Manchester, but by train I was able to get from Piccadilly to Euston in 2 hours and 10 minutes. It was an incredibly straightforward journey. Once I arrived in London, I didn’t need to buy a Tube ticket, thanks to my Contactless debit card, but skipped the queue and headed straight down the escalators. I got the Tube to Kings Cross (nice and quiet at 9 o’clock on a Saturday morning) and then another Tube to Holloway Road. You can see London Metropolitan University as soon as you exit the Tube station.

I stayed in a Premier Inn on Saturday night (in a room that had it’s own corridor for some reason) which was a half an hour walk. Nice to do after a day of sitting and listening.

The University is the perfect location for a conference. With room for quiet zones (or Introvert Recharging Areas as they were for me), multiple places to get refreshments, large rooms for the talks, space for the after-party…

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