Inevitably Agile

somethings are just inevitable …

The Pomodoro Technique

An ex-co-worker of mine suggested I read up about this as he found it very interesting and helpful. Its a way to aid concentration and minimize distractions and interruptions.

The basics are:

  • make a to-do list up for the day in order of priority
  • work for 25min at a time with a 2-3 min break between each (each 25min is known as a “pomodoro”). During the break do nothing strenuous or complex – so take a walk, chat or have coffee. After 4 pomodoros take a long (30min) break.
  • if you finish early then review your work done. For small tasks – like phone calls – group them together into a pomodoro.
  • if interrupted – make a note and explain that you will assist when your 25min is up. The same goes for distractions.

The main aim here is to become aware of how often you are interrupted and distracted. Be aware, acknowledge them by making a note and deal with them later. As you do this you will notice that most things are not actually that important and they can wait – some things don’t have to happen at all. As time goes on, your interruptions and distractions will become much less.

I found that this is very similar to how scrum works. Its explained by you getting a velocity of it takes you x pomodoros to do task y and thus you can complete about z pomodoros a day. I don’t think I’ll find that useful – I don’t really care how many pomodoros I complete in a day. I just want to be more productive during the day and deal with interruptions and distractions more efficiently and effectively. I love the concept of concentrate for 25min then take a break.

I’m going to try this out at my new work and see how it goes 🙂


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