Wednesday, 30 November 2011

You Say Pomodoro...

I've been trying to limit travel expenses... my own and my companies... to see just how productive I can be whilst working from home. I have to say, it's going pretty well. I use the Pomodoro technique when I really have a lot to accomplish and I find that it's much easier to do whilst at home than it is in an office.

Don't get me wrong, it's great catching up with people and collaborating in real life, but when you are using a technique such as Pomodoro, you really need absolute control over your environment in order to limit distractions and potential interuptions.

If you haven't used Pomodoro, it's worth taking a look. It's far from complicated but it's very useful. Essentially it's about working in a very focused way on a single task for 25 minutes before taking a five minute break and then returning for another 25 minute stint. Repeat to fade...

There's more about it here... it was named after those tomato-shaped kitchen timers which, if you have one, you can easily set to use the technique. If you haven't, there are plenty of apps available across all platforms.


Saturday, 26 November 2011

The Only Way Is... UP!

I couldn't resist purchasing UP! The wearable health-band and accompanying iOS app just brought to market by Jawbone, who are famous for making bluetooth earpieces.  Here are my thoughts on the band and its accompanying app:

Buying the Band

I got it from the Apple Store via the store's iOS app. It suggested that delivery would be in 2-3 three weeks but it arrived within a week. In theory, the band comes in a range of sizes and colours, but there were only black ones available directly from Apple. I got a medium and, when it arrived, wished I'd gone for large as it seemed a little tight. However, after a couple of days I read in a forum that you're meant to where it on your less dominant arm and I found that when switching it to my left arm to sit alongside my watch I suddenly couldn't really feel I was wearing it.

The UP app is a free download but doesn't work until your register an UP band, which cost me £80.