4. Should Lawyers Use the Pomodoro Method - Attorney Carlos A. GaminoAttorney Carlos A. Gamiño is a productivity junkie. He knows that the more he can get done during the workday, the more he can relax once it’s over – and he’s always on the lookout for new ways to improve workflow. Here’s Carlos’ take on the now-famous Pomodoro Technique and whether it’s a good idea for lawyers to implement.

There’s an app for everything. Google Chrome even has an app that forces you to stick to the Pomodoro Technique, one of the world’s most popular time-management methods.

If you haven’t heard of the Pomodoro Technique yet, it’s actually pretty remarkable. Developed in the late 80s and named after a tomato (yes, a tomato!), it can help lawyers crank out higher-than-ever levels of work in record time. Quality work, too… not rushed, “I’ve-got-to-get-this-done,” sloppy work.

What is the Pomodoro Technique?

The Pomodoro Technique is simple. You break your work down into 25-minute segments punctuated by 5-minute breaks. You don’t work on a brief until it’s done – you work until your 25 minutes are up. Then you get up, stretch, grab some coffee or do whatever else you’d like to do for 5 minutes.

Then you start the timer again.

You repeat all of this until you’ve worked a total of 100 minutes (four segments of 25 minutes each) and then reward yourself with a 30-minute break.

Does the Pomodoro Technique Work?

If you’re motivated to try something new, give it a shot. Different things work for different lawyers, but I’ve spoken to more lawyers who give rave reviews about the Pomodoro Technique than those who don’t. Don’t commit; just try it for a day. (There’s even an app you can download if you use Google Chrome. It’s called Strict Workflow, and if you try to visit Facebook or touch any other time-waster while your timer is activated, it’ll stop you in your tracks.)

What do you use for time management? I’m always on the lookout for new ideas that we can try in our firm. I’ll be the guinea pig, of course. Let me know what works for you in the comments!

(Now for that 5-minute break…)

Attorney Carlos A. Gamiño