Archive for the 'Pomodoro Technique Illustrated' Category

Literary References in the New Book

kina-133As you may or may not know, I’m writing a sequel to the 200K+ bestseller Pomodoro Technique Illustrated. I’ve written 1/3 in two months’ time.

Maybe you can guess the subject matter from the working title Productive People. Other hints are the references I’ve done so far in the text:

  • Amabile, Teresa M. et al. – Time Pressure And Creativity In Organizations: A Longitudinal Field Study, Harvard Business School, 2002.
  • Anokhin P.K. – The forming of natural and artificial intelligence, Impact of Science on Society, 23, 3, 195-212, Jul-Sep 1973.
  • Ariely, Dan, Wertenbroch, Klaus – Procrastination, Deadlines, and Performance: Self-Control by Precommitment, Psychological Science May 2002 vol. 13 no. 3 219-224.
  • Aristotle – Rhetoric, Courier Corporation, 2012.
  • Aronson and Mills – The effect of severity of initiation on liking for a group, Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 59, 177-181, 1959.
  • Atay S, Karabacak Ü. – Care plans using concept maps and their effects on the critical thinking dispositions of nursing students, International Journal of Nursing Practice, 18:233–239, 2012.
  • Atchley, Ruth Ann, Strayer, David L., Atchley, Paul – Creativity in the Wild: Improving Creative Reasoning through Immersion in Natural Settings, Journal PLOS ONE, December 12, 2012.
  • Barker, Alan – How to Solve Almost Any Problem: Turning Tricky Problems Into Wise Decisons, Pearson, 2012.
  • Beck, D. M. & Kastner, S. – Top-down and bottom-up mechanisms in biasing competition in the human brain, Vision Research, 2008.
  • Beilock, Sian L. and Carr, Thomas H. – On the Fragility of Skilled Performance: What Governs Choking Under Pressure?, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Vol. 130. No. 4. 701-725, 2001.
  • Bengtsson, Christina – Konsten att fokusera: 10.9, Volante, 2015
  • Brann, Amy – Make Your Brain Work: How to Maximize Your Efficiency, Productivity and Effectiveness, Kogan Page, 2013.
  • Brooks, Frederick P. – The mythical man-month: essays on software engineering, Addison-Wesley Pub. Co., 1975.
  • Buzan, Tony, Buzan, Barry – The Mind Map Book: How to Use Radiant Thinking to Maximize Your Brain’s Untapped Potential, Dutton, 1993.
  • Černe, Matej, Nerstad, Christina G. L., Dysvik, Anders, Škerlavaj, Miha – What Goes Around Comes Around: Knowledge Hiding, Perceived Motivational Climate, and Creativity, Academy of Management Journal, 2014, Vol. 57, No. 1, 172–192.
  • Coan, James A., Schaefer, Hillary S., and Davidson, Richard J. – Lending a Hand: Social Regulation of the Neural Response to Threat Psychological, Science, December 2006 17: 1032-1039.
  • Cobham, Alan – Priority Assignment in Waiting Line Problems, Operations Research 2: 70–76, 1954.
  • Covey, Stephen R. – The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Simon & Schuster, 1989.
  • De Bono, Edward – De Bono’s Thinking Course, Pearson Education, 2006.
  • De Bono, Edward – Six Action Shoes, HarperCollins Canada, Limited, 1991.
  • DeDonno, Michael A. and Demaree, Heath A. – Perceived time pressure and the Iowa Gambling Task, Judgment and Decision Making, Vol. 3, No. 8, December 2008, pp. 636–640.
  • Doran, G. T. – There’s a S.M.A.R.T. way to write management’s goals and objectives, Management Review (AMA FORUM) 70 (11) 35–36, 1981.
  • Duhigg, Charles – The Power of Habit, Random House, 2012.
  • Dunne, Keiran J., Dunne, Elena S. – Translation and Localization Project Management: The art of the possible, John Benjamins Publishing, 2011.
  • Durant, Will – The Story of Philosophy: The Lives and Opinions of the Great Philosophers, Pocket Books, 1976.
  • Eisenhower, Dwight D. – The American Presidency Project, Speech number: 204, Title: Address at the Second Assembly of the World Council of Churches, Location: Evanston, Illinois, Date: August 19, 1954.
  • Farrand, P., Hussain, F. and Hennessy E. – The efficacy of the ‘mind map’ study technique, Medical Education, Vol. 36 (5), pp 426-431, 2002.
  • Fast, Nathanael J., Tiedens, Larissa Z. – Blame contagion: The automatic transmission of self-serving attributions, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 46 (2010) 97–106.
  • Festinger, Leon – A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance, Row, Peterson, 1957.
  • Forster, Mark – Secrets of Productive People: 50 Techniques To Get Things Done: Teach Yourself, Hachette UK, 2015.
  • Gladstones, William H., Regan, Michael A., and Leeb, Robert B. – Division of attention: The single-channel hypothesis revisited, The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology Section A: Human Experimental Psychology, Volume 41, Issue 1, 1989.
  • Godin, Seth – The Dip: A Little Book that Teaches You when to Quit (and when to Stick), Portfolio, 2007.
  • Goleman, Daniel – Emotional Intelligence: Why it Can Matter More Than IQ, Bloomsbury, 1996.
  • Greist-Bousquet, S., Schiffman, N. – The effect of Task interruption and closure on perceived duration. Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society, 30(1), 9-11, 1992.
  • Hamer M, Chida Y. – Physical activity and risk of neurodegenerative disease: a systematic review of prospective evidence, Psychological Medicine, Jan, 39, 2009.
  • Heinrichs, Jay – Thank You for Arguing: What Aristotle, Lincoln, and Homer Simpson Can Teach Us about the Art of Persuasion, Three Rivers Press, 2007.
  • Hobbs, Charles R.  – Time Power, Harper & Row, 1987.
  • Hogue, W. Dickerson – What does priority mean?, Business Horizons, Volume 13, Issue 6, December 1970, Pages 35-36.
  • Hummel, Charles E. – Tyranny of the Urgent, Inter-Varsity Press, 1967.
  • Johnson, P.B., Mehrabian, A., Weiner, B. – Achievement Motivation and the Recall of Incompleted and Completed Exam Questions. Journal of Educational Psychology, 59(3), 181-185, 1968.
  • Jönsson, Bodil – Tio år senare: tio tankar om tid, Brombergs, 2009.
  • Jönsson, Bodil – Unwinding the Clock: 10 Thoughts on Our Relationship to Time, Harcourt, 2001.
  • Keller, Gary – The One Thing: The surprisingly simple truth behind extraordinary results, Hachette UK, 2013.
  • Lakein, Alan – How to get control of your time and your life, New American Library, 1974.
  • Lally, Phillippa, van Jaarsveld, Cornelia H. M., Potts, Henry W. W. and Wardle, Jane – How are habits formed: Modelling habit formation in the real world, European Journal of Social Psychology, Volume 40, Issue 6, pages 998–1009, October 2010.
  • Little, J. D. C. – A Proof for the Queuing Formula: L = λW. Operations Research 9 (3): 383–387, 1961.
  • Loprinzia, Paul D. , Cardinalb, Bradley J. – Association between objectively-measured physical activity and sleep, Mental Health and Physical Activity, Volume 4, Issue 2, December 2011, Pages 65–69.
  • Maltz, Maxwell – Psychocybernetics: A New Way to Get More Living Out of Life, Wilshire Book Company, 1976.
  • McKeown, Greg – Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, Random House, 2014.
  • Mittone, Luigi and Savadori, Lucia – The Scarcity Bias, Applied Psychology, Volume 58, Issue 3, pages 453–468, July 2009.
  • Ohno, Taiichi – Toyota Production System: Beyond Large-Scale Production, CRC Press, 1988.
  • Oncken Jr , William and Wass, Donald L. – Management Time: Who’s Got the Monkey?, Harvard Business Review, November–December 1974 Issue.
  • Parkinson, Cyril Northcote – Parkinson’s Law, The Economist, November 19 1955.
  • Pink, Daniel H. – Drive: The Surprising Truth about what Motivates Us, Riverhead Books, 2009.
  • Poppendieck, Mary, Poppendieck, Tom – Implementing Lean Software Development: From Concept to Cash, Addison-Wesley Professional, 2006.
  • Sanders, Jeff – The 5 A.M. Miracle: Dominate Your Day Before Breakfast, Ulysses Press, 2015
  • Sohlberg, McKay Moore, Mateer, Catherine A. – Introduction to Cognitive Rehabilitation: Theory and Practice, Guilford Press, 1989.
  • Surowiecki, James – The Wisdom of Crowds, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2005.
  • The war of the rebellion: a compilation of the official records of the Union and Confederate armies, Series 2 – Volume 7, Government Printing Office, 1899.
  • Tracy, Brian – Eat that Frog!, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2001
  • Vohs, Kathleen D., Redden, Joseph P., and Rahinel, Ryan, Physical Order Produces Healthy Choices, Generosity, and Conventionality, Whereas Disorder Produces Creativity, Psychological Science 24(9) 1860–1867.
  • Wilson, Timothy D.; Gilbert, Daniel T. – Affective Forecasting: Knowing What to Want, Current Directions in Psychological Science 14 (3): 131–134, June 2005.
  • Wiseman, Richard – The Luck Factor, Arrow, 2004.
  • Zeigarnik, Bluma – Das Behalten erledigter und unerledigter Handlungen. Psychologische Forschung 9, 1-85, 1927.

Interview on Time Management and Future Book Projects

Baris: Effectively managing your to-do list is a big part of the Pomodoro Technique. I really like the simplicity of having a super simple list with items grouped as “now”, “today”, “later”. Is the “now list” your invention? Please tell me the thought process behind it.

Staffan: I think it’s my invention, even though many other people most certainly have similar concepts. Even if you decide to focus on just one thing, your thoughts easily starts to wander now and then. Writing the title of your current activity on a slip of paper and putting it next to the keyboard reminds you with in a fraction of a second what it was.

I’m interviewed by Baris Sarer. The full text is here:

  • Part one: http://www.pomodorotime.org/pomodoro-technique-2/staffan-noteborg-interview-on-pomodor-technique-part-i/
  • Part two: http://www.pomodorotime.org/pomodoro-technique-2/staffan-noteborg-interview-on-pomodoro-technique-part-ii/
  • Regex process: Copy-Paste-Generalize

    Regular Expressions is a flexible tool for matching strings of text. They can be really crisp and elegant, but how can you design them? Below is a design process.

    Name

    Copy-Paste-Generalize

    Intent

    Go from an idea to a flexible and generalized regular expression.

    Applicability

    You have a text example and you know what you want to extract. But, of course, you want your regular expression to be generalized enough to match other candidates.

    Consequences

    The Copy-Paste-Generalize pattern is easy to get you started and then you can develop your regular expression in an iterative and structured way.

    Mechanics

    1. Copy a text example
    2. Paste it as your initial regular expression
    3. Generelaize the expression step by step until it matches any possible candidate

    Other Names

    This process has many names. E.g. Mehran Habibi call something similar “The Pull Technique” in his book Java Regular Expressions.

    Example

    Pomodoro Technique Illustrated info page at Amazon.com

    Pomodoro Technique Illustrated info page at Amazon.com

    Amazon.com presents a sale rank of all books. The list is updated frequently and every book’s current rank can be found at the book’s info page. Suppose I want to match the current rank for my book Pomodoro Technique Illustrated. First I download an example text: the current page at Amazon:

    I use Lynx (btw: by far the greatest web browser the world has ever seen) in CLI mode. The result is a rain of lines from Pomodoro Technique Illustrated‘s info page at Amazon. I better grep something to make my example text smaller:

    The result is:

    • * Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #23,032 in Books ([89]See Top 100 in

    Great! This includes what I want to match. What I’ve done so far is the Copy part of this process. Next goes the Paste. I add an extremely simple Regular Expression and put it in a Ruby one-liner:

    As a matter of fact, the expression that resides between the dashes is just a Paste of what I got from the Lynx dump. And the result of this line is:

    • 23,032

    …and that’s because of the parenthesis.

    Copy done. Paste Done. Let’s start to generalize. Next time I run this, I might get another rank than 23,032. Digits can be captured with the meta sequence \d. This implies the next iteration:

    Instead of cascading the \d, I can use the limiting repetition operator:

    The text in between “Rank” and the number may change. It would be more robust to describe it as non-digits:

    This expression will only work when the rank is between 1,000 and 999,999. Just in case this book gets extremely popular, let’s generalize the number part:

    The expression has become pretty compact and robust. I stop here:

    • Bestsellers Rank[^\d]*([\d,]*)

    Challenge

    Even though it’s only a example above, you may know how to make the Regular Expression or the Ruby/Bash code even more crisp. If you do, feel free to append a comment below.

    Pomodoro Technique Illustrated -- New book from The Pragmatic Programmers, LLC

    Do you ALWAYS respect the timebox?

    Timbox and Flow

    Timbox and Flow

    Hi Staffan! Do you ALWAYS respect the 25 minute timebox when you’re in the zone? Can’t this break your flow?

    Yes, I always respect the timebox:

    • A short break won’t make me forget everything. I can go on from exactly the point where I left.
    • The break means that I can recharge my brain. Goal free play encourages background processing and right brain thinking. If I put enough effort in last iteration, it will even be guilt free play, which helps me avoid procrastination.
    • Humans love rhythm. From the day we were born to the day we die, our life is filled with rhythms. They make us feel safe and helps us to have sustainable pace.
    • Flow means totally focused on one task. It doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m doing the most important task. Sometimes flow means efficiency, without effectiveness. To recurrently take a short break and then asses if I’m doing the most important thing will help me navigate in task land.
    • When I’m in the flow, I’m so focused so I’m not really aware that I’m in the flow. When the timebox is finished, it’s impossible to immediately say if I should continue or not.
    • To take a break when arousal is high, makes me eager when it’s time to start the next timebox.

    Am I supposed to focus now?

    Do you have trouble remembering if you’re in a Pomodoro or not? If you use a mechanical kitchen timer, the ticking sound will remind you. But what if you work in a no-sounds-allowed office?

    This is actually a very common problem. Even if you can’t have the ticking sound and the mechanical timer, I do believe that gestures are important. They help your brain to make the transition from free time to focus time and back.

    You may put your cell phone on the desk every time you start a Pomodoro and remove it when you end. Or even simpler: take a business card and color it green on the backside with a felt-tip pen. Put the card on your desk. Every time you start a Pomodoro, turn the green side up. Every time you end a Pomodoro, turn the green side down.

    • You can see the card/phone while you’re in a Pomodoro. It reminds you that it’s focus time.
    • The gestures of turning the card will—after a while—be associated with starting and ending a Pomodoro.

    Pomodoro Technique Illustrated -- New book from The Pragmatic Programmers, LLC

    Bibliography from Pomodoro Technique Illustrated

    There are many references in Pomodoro Technique Illustrated. Below is a list of the books in the bibliography linked to Amazon. In a future post I will also put links to the referred articles and web sites.

    How many of these have you read? Do you have any recommended reading for me?

    Pomodoro Technique Illustrated -- New book from The Pragmatic Programmers, LLC

    The Now List

    (This is an excerpt from the book Pomodoro Technique Illustrated)

    In 1933 Hedwig von Restorff performed a set of memory experiments. Her conclusion was that an isolated item, in a list of otherwise similar items, would be better remembered. If I read a shopping list with one
    item highlighted in azure blue, it’s more likely that I remember the highlighted item than any of the others. This is now identified as The
    Von Restorff effect
    .

    The Now List is not another artifact in Pomodoro Technique® (created by Francesco Cirillo). It’s my name for a concept: what I give my attention to right now. The cardinality of my Now List is binary. Either I focus on 1 activity or 0 activities. It can
    never be 2, 3, 4 or any other number of activities. Before I wind up the clock, I choose one single activity. My challenge during a 25 minute Pomodoro is to not give another activity attention for a minute or two.

    The Von Restorff effect tells me that I can provoke my memory to store things that I highlight. I may use a highlighter felt-tip pen to mark the current activity on the To Do Today sheet. Or I can explicitly write the
    activity title on a slip of paper and put it in front of me.

    The Now List

    The Now List

    Pomodoro Technique Illustrated -- New book from The Pragmatic Programmers, LLC