My experience with the Pomodoro technique
I have not used this technique while at work for fear of looking lazy. I know others have done it successfully, but nobody that I've worked with directly has used it to my knowledge. I've tried it a few times when I have free-time, but that is only for a hour or two.
With that disclaimer out of the way; let me describe what I have found.
Obviously if you don't know what I'm talking about you should ddg it.
Work 25 minutes and take a 5 minute break
At first it was real tempting to just work past the 25 minutes before taking a break. Just a little more, and then I'll be done. Problem is that when I'm programming; time flows at a different rate. If I think something might take 30 minutes it'll probably be an hour or more. If I stick to the pomo breaks it's easier to keep track of the time I'm spending on stuff. It also helps to get a fresher perspective on the problem after a short break.
The breaks make a lot of sense to utilize. Even if I'm making great progress on something; if I take a quick break my mind is more able to process and remember what I'm working on.
Creating a habit
So, the hard part really is just doing it consistently every day. The fault I have is trying to use and learn a tool to help me track my pomodoro's. I can't simply use a pen and paper alongside a simple timer. Oh, no. I have to try out a few websites for this ranging from a simple timer web app to something GTD related. One of the websites that I really liked was Complice. After the free trial I couldn't justify using it for the short hour or two windows I might have through the week. I would recommend it to anyone else though.
I also thought that I should record my terminal screen while working on a pomodoro. Maybe then I'd stick to doing the pomodoros and it'd just be a habit. So I started putting together a little bash shell script called pomorecordo.sh. The problem of course is I spent more time creating the script then I actually used it. Oh well.
Maybe I'll one day get in the habit.