Every Pomodoro is a Time Brick building your dream career.

Tracking My Time Seemed Impossible. Then I Invented The Pomodoro Marathon Game.

What kind of an OCD nut job would track their work every day since January of 2019?

Let me tell you, I never thought it would be me. I hated that stuff. But first let me say…

Tracking my time felt like busy work in the beginning, but now it feels like “Whoa, I’ve done something nobody else I know has done.”

Also, I really like this. I need it to get a sense of completion and accomplishment.

When I first started doing this discipline, I didn’t track jack. But I wanted to do The Experiment and give the Pomodoro Technique a chance.

Full disclosure: Also, I’ve practiced Zen every day for 30 years, without fail, so let’s just say I value mental discipline.That’s a story for another time.

Still, I wasn’t “a tracker,” but now I can say, without hesitation:

Tracking is a surprisingly, rewarding part of the Pomodoro discipline. Why?

Because it gives you a MAJOR sense of accomplishment. I mean holy crap. This is hard, but I did this!

Most people start doing the Pomodoro Technique get excited and stop within 2–4 weeks. Not me.

I stuck with this for over 180 weeks, as of today. I did the mind grind, tracking every Pomodoro session for three years. It was hard, but guess what?

Don’t think. Just do it. Again and again and again.

I laid one time brick down after another, and now I’ve laid over 3,200 time bricks. That’s about 1,600 hours.

Furthermore, each mark on my sheet means I “chopped wood and carried water.” I did a mono-tasking work session, and gave my all to the task at hand.

Every one of those time bricks is a step on my journey to realizing my dream of being kick ass writer. Also, you know what?

Who cares if you brushed twice a day for 48 years? Nobody.

But jog every day for a month or a year, and I have to say, “my hat’s off to you.” Get it?

Totally different level of personal achievement and sacrifice. Respect.

By the way, I hate running, unless somebody’s chasing me. But I do walk through the neighborhood or ride the exercise bike(while playing Elden Ring) every day.

Brief Inspirational Speech

When I look back at all my spreadsheets(in my imagination), I know I can speak with deep personal authority when I say:

Start small.

Above all, be consistent. No excuses.

Feeling overwhelmed? Want to stop the practice?

Clear your mind.

Turn on your power music.

Twist the timer and just do one more.

All your woes will vanish, and you’ll just come into the moment.

My Personal Game — You Might Want to Copy (But Not Rip Off)

I’m a gamer. I like achievement badges.

Nobody had a Pomodoro game, so I made up my own reward system.

You’ll only know if you EARNED a badge because you track your time.

Listen, I’m in a competition with myself to do more, or at least maintain my pace.

I’m running a marathon, and my goal is to just keep running. Just put one foot in front of the other.

That helps in the beginning, when you still don’t know what you are truly capable of.

Case in point, when I first started my discipline, I was doing two pomodoros a day consistently for 3 months. But I had a chunk of vacation time and wanted to see how much writing I could get done.

My first couple of days weren’t particularly productive, but on my 3rd day I broke 10 poms. I had never done that many poms before, so the next day I resolved to meet that goal again.

I surprised myself and exceeded it by doing my first ever 16 pom day, which I call a fulday. Over the next 3 work days, I did 3 more fuldays.

At the end of that time, I had completed two very, tight, short stories and a comic script.

Don’t get me wrong. That is a hard pace to maintain. Still, regularly do at least 10 poms a day every day of the week.

Your Achievement Badges — Should You Choose To Accept Them

Here are some goals you might want to set for yourself.

Each achievement badge has a time frame, so before we continue, let me define some terms:

Pom is short for “A single Pomodoro session.”

Week — A standard work week is five out of seven days.

Month — This is four weeks, or twenty days, out of standard monthly cycle.

Quarter — This would be sixty days in a three-month cycle.

I had this great idea, but can I just say? Damn this is hard hard hard, especially if you have a job.

Try to get these achievement badges:

Rock Steady — This is a consistency badge for doing at least 1 Pomodoro every day for 5 days in a row. This is the easiest badge to get, and is an essential achievement that will show you are serious about establishing your habit pattern. The next levels of this badge are month/quarter/year.

Duopom — Do two poms for a week/month/quarter/year.

Set Run — Do a set of four pomodoros 5 days for a week/month/quarter/year.

Fulday — 4 sets make a fulday. It’s a difficult, but major achievement.

Fulday run — Do a five fuldays in a week/month/quarter/year. Errr…this one might be ridiculously hard.

Highest number of poms in a day — Try to break your previous record for the number of pomodoros done in a day. Mine is like 17 or 18.

8 Solid Hours — 19 poms is 475 minutes, which is eight hours of solid work. It’s hard.

Shoot the Moon — Complete 20 fuldays in a month. Still haven’t gotten there. Might have to re-evaluate.

High Score — What is the highest number of pomodoros you have done in a week or month? This isn’t about consistency. It’s about overall achievement.

True Believer — Hardcore — You stuck with the Pomodoro technique for a year. Even if it was just one pomodoro a day, five days a week. I definitely nailed this.

A weekly achievement is a novice level achievement. These are good goals for Beginners.

A monthly achievement is an intermediate skill level. This is a substantial level of achievement requiring dedicated effort that I will be happy with achieving.

A quarterly achievement is an expert level achievement. This is hardcore dedication.

A yearly achievement is a master level achievement. I can only dream of having done my work this consistently, at this point in my practice. This would be a crazy achievement.

Update 3 years later(5/22):

I have 2 years of Rock Steady, Duopom and Set Runs.

My high score is 18 poms, and I AM A TRUE BELIEVER x3!

In Conclusion

It’s going to be hard to track your time in the beginning. You’ll forget, unless you do it immediately at the end of your session. I use a backup app(PomoDoneApp), in conjunction with my ladybug timer because I forget to make the mark when I get busy. Still I’ve done this every day for over three years, and it feels great to know I did something I considered impossible.

I may not have gone jogging every day(or ever for that matter) but I did this, and I just keep getting better and better.

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Donovan is a copywriter. He uses pomodoros every day, and writes the technomagical Belman Chronicles. He knows so much his brain is going to burst any day now.

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Donovan Rittenbach

Donovan is a copywriter. He uses pomodoros every day, and writes the technomagical Belman Chronicles. He knows so much his brain is going to burst any day now.