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Author Topic: Agree or Disagree? It is not just focus, it is also about perspective  (Read 3821 times)

Paul Keith

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Quote
The examples of a lawyer in a court room, a surgeon in OR, or a pilot are false comparisons. What do you think the lawyer does when he's looking up other cases (precedents), or the surgeon is doing pre-op reviews of test data, or the pilot is studying a new cockpit design? I sure hope they take breaks when they're tired. Creative/study work needs to be punctuated with pauses to give the brain time to assimilate, or productivity drops.

Source: http://www.infoq.com...02/pomodoro-critique

P.S. Not a trick question but I don't know the right question to ask. (Also it doesn't matter which choice you pick, I'm looking more for the because and the whys. If this is still too vague, I'm mostly trying to re-verify my feelings (or lack of feelings) for mindmaps/images/timers/reminders and so on and so forth.

tomos

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Re: Agree or Disagree? It is not just focus, it is also about perspective
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2011, 12:52:22 PM »
The link is about whether it's helpful to take breaks or not so I'll talk about what I think about that.

Do you use a timer Paul?
I dont, maybe I should -
I certainly agree from my own experience that taking breaks is essential for:

1) concentration
2) health
3) stamina (being able to be concentrated all through the day - without burning myself up)


I can concentrate for long periods of time without breaks -when under pressure- and I actually enjoy it, but I reckon I would burn out eventually. On a related note: I think these days many employers recognise that work-addiction is not helpful to them in the medium or long term.
Tom

Paul Keith

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Re: Agree or Disagree? It is not just focus, it is also about perspective
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2011, 01:09:24 PM »
Do you use a timer Paul?

I jump around between using and not using one that it's not even funny...or limited to a single answer anymore.

Too many timers out there: Pomodoro/Heart Rate Monitor/Time an Application remains Open/Tea Timer/WorkRave/ETA for sleep/Time boxing/Habit Trackers/Do it Tomorrow lists (yes this is a timer in disguise)

P.S. Thanks for replying.


tomos

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Re: Agree or Disagree? It is not just focus, it is also about perspective
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2011, 01:45:21 PM »
Do you use a timer Paul?

I jump around between using and not using one that it's not even funny...or limited to a single answer anymore.
[...]
P.S. Thanks for replying.

I used to use App103's Instant Boss while working on computer, but I was having focus problems with it - since I stopped using it I've intended to get a 'real' timer - but havent yet... :-[

PS thanks for posting :Thmbsup:
Tom

Paul Keith

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Re: Agree or Disagree? It is not just focus, it is also about perspective
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2011, 01:56:05 PM »
Ironically enough, I have such respect for App's Instant Boss that even today it's just subconsciously not in my head when I'm thinking of timers but yeah, I get what you mean by focus problems.

For me the switch between a different computer alone messes up any timer-centric model for me so I just use it sporadically and I still couldn't really envision using a timer but at the same time it's so tempting. Anyways good luck with your search for a timer - unfortunately I really haven't found one that flat out changed my life.

40hz

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Re: Agree or Disagree? It is not just focus, it is also about perspective
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2011, 06:27:17 PM »
I tend to avoid using timers for anything other than monitoring network performance - or baking cookies.

I seldom time myself doing anything because I find timers annoying and disruptive to my concentration. Maybe if I were a professional athlete; or responsible for launching a nuclear counterstrike, my performance and work times would be something worth staying on top of. But I am neither that well compensated, nor that important to the world at large. I have a regular job and a fairly regular life. And something like Pomodoro does IMO add an additional layer of "doing" I neither want nor need to get my stuff done.

So (speaking only for myself) I agree with  the comment in the article that Pomodoro may well be guilty of: "over-analyzing the issue and creating complexity where none is needed."

But that can be said of any technique once it gets promoted as a "one size fits all situations" solution. "Babies and hammers," as the saying goes.

I believe in fitting the technique to the task rather than the other way around. So while something like Pomadoro may be helpful in certain situations, I can't see where it would be a universally beneficial for every task or personal work style. 

I mean hey - if it works - go for it!

But just for the record: Pomodoro doesn't work for me.

Not even in conjunction with that slick looking "tomato timer" (PomodoroPro) someone talked me into loading on my iPhone. (see below)  ;D

pomtechnique2.jpg

My work style is pretty basic. I simply put in whatever time and effort the task requires. I don't push myself to exhaustion. But I don't lock myself into a rigid work/break cycle either. I'm quite good at detecting when additional effort on my part is becoming counterproductive. When I feel that happening, I'll either take a break, or move onto something else.

Not too formal or scientific. But it works for me.  :Thmbsup:


Paul Keith

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Re: Agree or Disagree? It is not just focus, it is also about perspective
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2011, 02:14:33 AM »
Agree on all points 40hz although I'd just like to bring up something that I might have not emphasized (or written) in my initial post:

As the later comments implied, one size fits all timers should not just factor in work but also rest. So not only is it dependent on how good we are at knowing when to take breaks, the topic could easily absorb subjects such as the usage of alarm clocks in our daily lives.

Note that alarm clocks also don't work for me in real life but I am not employed. Still...back in the days I find I woke up later when I used alarm clocks just because my mind expects to hear the sound before doing anything other than sleeping. (Where as I tend to wake up too early due to over-anticipation when I rely on my own instincts but only in certain deadlines)

barney

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Re: Agree or Disagree? It is not just focus, it is also about perspective
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2011, 09:17:07 PM »
Timers ... interesting ... useless, save for baking and appointments  :P.

I have two things that outperform any software - or hardware - timing application, save for the previously noted exceptions.

Between a fused hip/arthritis and a nicotine addiction, I have internal timers that far outperform anything else available  :-[.  The hip won't let me sit in any one position for more than 20-30 minutes, and the addiction must needs be satisfied ~hourly, so that's another move away from the chair - don't smoke in the house.

I've talked to others who have similar situations - vagaries? - so I don't feel too unusual.  Granted, we're a minority - ten (10) percent maybe? -  but the need for breaks, and the lack of need for related timers, is built into our soma.

On the other hand Adopted Daughter cannot function w/o physical timers in the real world save for cooking - she has an internal timer for that  :-*.  Wish I had it  :o.

tomos

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Re: Agree or Disagree? It is not just focus, it is also about perspective
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2011, 12:11:00 PM »
My work style is pretty basic. I simply put in whatever time and effort the task requires. I don't push myself to exhaustion. But I don't lock myself into a rigid work/break cycle either. I'm quite good at detecting when additional effort on my part is becoming counterproductive. When I feel that happening, I'll either take a break, or move onto something else.
my emphasis

I think that's the key there -
if you dont push yourself too hard, you're probably fine; if you do push yourself too hard, you need a timer :)
Tom

40hz

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Re: Agree or Disagree? It is not just focus, it is also about perspective
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2011, 01:05:30 PM »

Between a fused hip/arthritis and a nicotine addiction, I have internal timers that far outperform anything else available  :-[.  The hip won't let me sit in any one position for more than 20-30 minutes, and the addiction must needs be satisfied ~hourly, so that's another move away from the chair - don't smoke in the house.


Wow! Talk about a high impact reminder system!  ;D 8)


barney

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Re: Agree or Disagree? It is not just focus, it is also about perspective
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2011, 02:47:22 PM »

Between a fused hip/arthritis and a nicotine addiction, I have internal timers that far outperform anything else available  :-[.  The hip won't let me sit in any one position for more than 20-30 minutes, and the addiction must needs be satisfied ~hourly, so that's another move away from the chair - don't smoke in the house.


Wow! Talk about a high impact reminder system!  ;D 8)



 ;D Yeah ... well the impact part was 1967, so I've adjusted, kinda, sorta ... only thing I really need an alarm for is when I'm baking bread  :-* :P.  Or, sometimes, if I need to get up earlier than usual.  But breaks?  My body outperforms any possible programmed timing system  >:D.