Being productive can be hard when you’re overwhelmed by a big project. You have two choices: 1) You can do what a lot of people do – work until you get tired, take a break, then start working again, or 2) You can try the Pomodoro technique; a time-management concept aimed at improving your mental agility and manage time better.
Meaning “tomato” in Italian, the Pomodoro technique gets its name from that kitchy tomato timer your mom had with the time broken into segments. The concept goes like this: Work 25 minutes and take a 5-minute break, repeat this 3 more times, then take a 15-30 minute break. You essentially work in 4-hour intervals, with smattered breaks, helping you work better overall. And the Tomato.es extension for Chrome is the extension to get a feel for it.
Our guide will outline how to use Tomato.es, from utilizing the timer on their site to using their extension in Chrome.
How Tomato.es Will Help You Get Productive
Using the WebApp and Productivity Leaderboards
Since the makers behind Tomato.es wanted to make their time management tool usable to as many people as possible, the timer widget must be used directly on their site, Tomato.es. And once you get there, just click the “Start” button to start your first 25-minute interval.
After clicking start, your first interval of aka a “tomato” will begin, and it’ll pop-up on the main page on the left side of the screen.
Some might find it helpful to stay on task by allowing the “White noise audio” option. Every interval has one, and it can be turned on/off in the top-right corner of each tomato.
At the end of an interval, the site will ask you to break for 5 minutes, then it will start your second tomato. You can continue this way until you’re done working, and if at anytime you want to start a timer over, just hit the “Reset” button underneath the timer clock.
Use Leaderboard To Compete With Others
Also, on their site is their rather brilliant feature, “Leaderboards,” which if you’re a competitive person they do a surprisingly good job at boosting your productivity. Competing wiht others can be excellent motivation.
The link to the leaderboards can be accessed at the bottom of the main page.
As most leaderboards go, the users are listed by the most accomplished Tomato.es user of the day to the least accomplished.
They also have leaderboards that show the most accomplished users of the “week, month and of all-time.” Note: The leaderboards do not take into account professions, only the Tomato.es users who’ve been the most productive.
And to let Tomato.es track how many tomatoes you’ve completed so you can get on a leaderboard, signing in with a Twitter or GitHub account is needed; the latter being a social networking site for programmers. Just click on the “Connect” buttons located on Tomato.es’ main page to connect your account.
And for the statistic geeks out there, there is a “Statistics” link at the bottom of the main page as well, letting you view the overall usage of Tomato.es.
This page is rather cool. You can view users per day and how many tomatoes overall have been completed in chart-form. As you can notice more and more people are joining this service each day.
Install and Use the Tomato.es extension
For heavy Chrome-users, having easy access to Tomato.es may be of use, and there’s an extension to help you quick launch Tomato.es. To get the extension, open Chrome and go to the download page for Tomato.es. Once you’re here, click the “Add to Chrome” button, then follow the installation prompts.
Once it’s installed, you can access Tomato.es anytime via the Chrome toolbar “App Launcher.”
“Clicking on Tomatoes” opens a new tab, bringing you to their site.
Tomato.es is simple to use and its ability to link with GitHub makes it much more attractive than other extensions based on the Pomodoro technique. While it’d be nice if you could keep your timer going even if you close Chrome, it’s still a great tool, especially for computer programmers or anyone struggling with time management skills.
For a look at more extensions that help you focus, including one more Pomodoro technique-based extension, check out five awesome Chrome extensions for productivity.