As we mentioned in our previous post, time management is a challenge faced by all freelance translators. Procrastination and distraction are the enemies of efficiency and productivity, but there are a number of ways that results-driven translators can increase productivity and still indulge themselves in checking social media and surfing the web.
One of the most popular is the Pomodoro Technique®, which was invented by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s and became the darling of business managers in the 1990s.
The concept is simple: you break down a large task or series of tasks into easily doable timed bursts of 25 minutes of concentrated effort followed with a short break to prevent burnout and boost creativity. Although the inventor developed his system using a mechanical tomato-shaped timer (hence its name “pomodoro”, Italian for “tomato”) and a pencil and paper, modern technology has taken it a step further with a myriad of apps ranging from simple electronic versions of the original concept to highly complex systems that allow the length of work and rest periods to be adjusted, track users’ productivity by task, time and day of the week and even “reward” users as their productivity increases.
Over the next month, we’ll be testing the following three Android apps to find out more about their features and discover whether they are as effective as their reputation says.
Designed by Yaroslav Shevchuk, this system not only offers all the usual Pomodoro features, it also lets you create a task list, color-code your tasks and reorganize them. Highly customizable, it lets you set times for work and long and short breaks, choose display colors and alarms, offers statistics on work periods and results and displays a list of accomplished tasks. It’s also completely free and without ads.
Produced by libtronics apps, this relatively simple system lets you configure your pomodoros and short and long breaks, offers vibration and sound on events along with statistics about your pomodoros that lets you measure your progress and compare it with past levels of productivity. It’s free of charge.
Produced by AXFN, this sytem features a Socialist realism esthetic that reveals the no-coddling attitude behind it: maximum productivity based on working harder, period. It tracks your productivity over days and weeks – including holidays and weekends – and you’ll earn or lose ranks based on your performance (you start out as an “unrepentant slacker”). It doesn’t offer to-do lists, and it doesn’t give you the option to interrupt a pomodoro. The basic version is free of charge.