First, let’s take a look at the stark contrast between the two productivity principles:
GTD Focuses on the Outcome <> Pomodoro Focuses on the Task
GTD deals with the collective tasks. Pomodoro works one task at a time.
You cannot just marry the two systems and forge a partnership between them in which they can work together as one. GTD is quite the opposite of Pomodoro.
GTD practitioners may find Pomodoro too limiting.
There is not much flexibility in Pomodoro. The 2-minute rule in GTD finds no room in the Pomodoro system.
The core of GTD sits on the “Five Stages Of Mastering Workflow”: Collect, Process, Organize, Review, and Do. In GTD dealing with a task has an impact on the other tasks. You have to maintain certain amount of discretion to maintain the workflow of your collective tasks.
In Pomodoro, those 5 stages are 5 separate tasks (or more if divided into smaller portions). There is only one stage in Pomodoro: Do. In the heart of Pomodoro is an effective mechanism of estimating task completion. There is truly a comfort in knowing how long it takes to accomplish your tasks.
Can GTD and Pomodoro work hand in hand?
As thought systems, they are incompatible. You cannot just focus on one particular task and maintain that same focus for all your other tasks.
Pomodoro is singular in its approach; GTD is collective.
Photo courtesy of flickr user Tragic