Russian pomodoroulette

Hi Mattias,

I would like to share with you an experiment I performed last Tuesday. Knowing that you too have been using the Pomodoro Technique lately, perhaps this twist will interest you.

This day started like many others with processing of inboxes and grooming of the to-do list. Ending up with a short list of quite differing tasks I felt like no prioritization would make me satisfied, some items where small, some larger and some open ended… I did however find that they could be categorized into three projects. The natural instinct was to leave the digital and move the tasks to three project cards along with more detailed notes and related activities. Great, so I had brought order, I had categories but I had not accomplished anything at all! All three projects felt important but in different ways, all were also open ended or huge, making it even harder.

Here comes the thing. Wanting to work on all projects but incapable to find a way to order or prioritize I gave them each a number from one to three and went over to to get a random number between one and three. I then worked on that project for 25 minutes (one pomodoro), took a break, went back to, worked on whatever project it gave me next …and so on.

The most interesting thing about this process was perhaps that everything became much more fun. It feels a bit silly to admit this, but after each break randomizing to see what’s going to happen next was actually kind of …very exciting. The more boring project even became fun, perhaps because I knew that something else was likely to come in a very short while.

Another thing I found interesting with this was the peace of mind I experienced after accepting a random number generator to make the decisions for me, delegating to random you might call it ;). Worth mentioning might be that these decisions were not important. Somebody once said “Don’t think too much before making reversible decisions…”. I’m now proposing: Don’t think when making decisions; let decide! 😀 …or perhaps a dice.

Well, that was just some random thoughts.

Take care,

2 thoughts on “Russian pomodoroulette

  1. And good thoughts they were!

    Another way of thinking about it would be that if you can’t easily quantify which of the items is most important to start working on, maybe it isn’t necessary to spend more time trying to sort them and instead spend that time on doing them… 😉 Liberate yourself with a RNG.


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