If the Pomodoro Technique aids successful web developer and blogger, Mark Brinker, it can help the rest of us.
Maybe you haven’t heard of the Pomodoro Technique, but if you read on you will learn how it helped Smart Blogger contributor, Mark Brinker.
Mark Brinker wrote 7 Little-Known Reasons WordPress.com Sucks for Serious Bloggers for Smart Blogger. After I read the article I tweeted him. Surprisingly, he messaged me back and we chatted for about a half hour. That NEVER happens! He impressed me. When I invited him to write a guest post, he agreed to an interview.
Today I’d like to you meet Mark Brinker,”the owner of Mark Brinker & Associates, a web development firm serving professional service providers, small business owners and entrepreneurs — the ones who are routinely ignored and underserved by big agencies.
Although Mark has a degree in electrical engineering, everything he knows about website design and development was learned through years of trial and error, dating back to 1999 when he built his first site.
Mark lives in Sterling Heights, Michigan with his wife, Patti. He loves all animals, but especially dogs. His guilty pleasure is a premium cigar on a warm, sunny day. Mark’s newest pastime is sporting clays.
Mark, welcome to Always Write, a blog where new and hobby bloggers, writers and photographers learn together at home and abroad. Thanks for being with us. It seems like you are in business to help small businesses like some of us hobby bloggers.
What is the ONE thing that you do, that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your successes, so far?
Persistence. Never give up. Keep pressing on. Get up and go to work every day—whether you want to or not. I know it might sound like I’m over-simplifying this, but it’s the honest answer to this question.
You mentioned a quote from Stephen King that sums it up nicely. “Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us get up and go to work.”
What concerns, or obstacles, have you overcome in your career?
A million – both on a personal and professional level. The biggest obstacle that I see getting in the way for most people (myself included) is *fear*. But you can’t let fear paralyze you. You just have to stay mentally tough and press on, regardless of your fear. Your confidence grows exponentially by conquering one fear after another after another.
To be honest I felt a little bit of fear about asking you to do an interview but I’m so glad I did. Tell me about something that you are not good at.
Picking out jewelry for my wife. I have great taste when it comes to fashion or design, but I can’t tell the difference between a $25 pair of earrings or a $10k tennis bracelet.
I take it you don’t look at the price tag before you say, “I’ll take it!” That’s a pretty good clue. 🙂 I have a feeling you might be exaggerating a bit, though. We need your wife to verify that answer. You are a busy guy running a business, writing for Smart Blogger and other large blogs.
How do you balance your time between your personal and career/blogging life?
Discipline and focus. When it’s time to work, you work. Eliminate distractions. I regularly use the Pomodoro technique (Google it) to manufacture urgency. It really works for me. I also think a lot about why I’m doing what I’m doing and is this activity getting me closer to my goal. If you’re clear on what you’re actually trying to accomplish, it’s amazing how quickly you generate real results without wasting a huge amount of time/energy.
So, Mark, I did look up Pomodoro technique. Named after his tomato-shaped kitchen timer in the 1980s by Francesco Cirillo, the time management system, as I understand it, involves breaking the task apart then doing them in stages. First plan and prioritize, then track and record the to-do list. As the planner completes tasks task, the time to do them is validated. There is data for improvement. It’s almost like exercising. Three sets of exercises and a break. Group of sets and a longer break. You seem to use it well. Even though you are very busy, you answered my email and responded to these interview questions very promptly.
Tell me about when you realized that you were a professional.
When I realized that my work was making a positive and tangible difference in peoples’ lives. In other words, their outcome was better because of working with me than not working with me.
That’s a good aim for all of us. Someone wrote that usually new or hobby bloggers don’t think in terms of blogging to directly benefit others. We do it to have fun, to have interactions with people or to record the thoughts for ourselves and hope that someone out there likes what we have to say. What one person or resource helped you the most as a new blogger?
It’s a tie. Jon Morrow at SmartBlogger.com and Brian Clark & Sonia Simone at CopyBlogger.com.
They have some great articles. I’ve learned a lot from both of them, too. If your blog or career ended today, what would be the legacy that you left behind?
That the world was a better place because of the work that I did, and that I inspired others to do more and be more.
That’s a big goal, Mark. I hope you achieve it. Thank you so much for being here today. I’ll be on the lookout for more great material from you. I ordered your book, The Modern Website Makeover. I just had a developer company and long-time friend of mine update my website but I am always looking for ways to improve my website. I want to take my hobby a step further to help others realize the benefits that blogging can have for them.
- A Ridiculously Simple Way To Speed Up Your Website Using Tools You Probably Have Laying Around Your Office by Mark Brinker
- How To Measure Your Mobile Traffic by Mark Brinker