The PomodoroTechnique“Take your day back” Bent Jensen April 2011
Why Pomodoro? Francesco Cirillo invented the technique when he was a young student in the 80ies He found it difficult to focus on reading. Challenged himself: Can I fokus just 25 minutes at the time?
HvorforPomodoro? Francesco Cirilloopfandtteknikkensomungstuderendei 80’erne Han fandtdetsvært at fokuserepå at læse Stillede sig selv en opgave: Kanjegfokusere bare 25 minutter ad gangen?
Can you use it? How often during a normal day do you experience being interrupted in your work? Never! 1-5 times 5-10 times 10-25 times More than 25
Can you use it? When starting a larger, difficult task do you experience it is difficult to get started? Never Some times Often Every time
Er der brug for det her? Oplever du nogengange at mødererufokuseredeogløber over tiden? Aldrig Nogengange Ofte Altid
Can you use it? Do you experience that meetings lack focus and run over time? Never Some times Often Always
Goal To achieve Stress-free, Fulfilling productivity
Days where I wonder what I have done Having to come in early or stay late to be able to at least get something done X
Agiludviklingogproduktivitet Agiludviklingbeskytterteametsproduktivitetved at: Timeboxe de flestemøder Lukke for nyekravogændringerisprintet Sikre at ingengårlængere end en dag udenhjælp Men hvad med den enkeltesproduktivitet?
Agile development and productivity Agile development protects the teams productivity by: Timeboxing most meetings Close for new requirements and changes during the Sprint Ensure that no-one goes for more than a day without help. But what about the individual?
Two cycles 24 hrs inner cycle Outer cycle of not more than 2 weeks
Makers time / managers time
Threaths against personal productivity The colocated team and high level of collaboration has some down-sides: Constant interruptions Involuntary involvement in discussions Difficult to find time to deal with the”Big ones”
A small experiment
What is the problem?
Cost of interruptions A study says it consumes on average 28% of a knowledge -workers day* May even be more when we consider intensive work like software development and -testing A metaphor is that the brain is like a workbench where work is cheap but access to the attached storage is very expensive * "The Cost of Not Paying Attention: How Interruptions Impact Knowledge Worker Productivity," Jonathan B. Spira and Joshua B. Feintuch, Basex, 2005)
Focus or Concentration Focus is necessary in much knowledge work We need to be able to think and work with symbols for relatively long periods Other words Flow Be in the Zone Focus is fragile and is difficult to maintain
Flow Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Motivation Motivation Optimal difficulty Too difficult Too easy Difficulty
Intrinsic motivation and rewards When do you feel you have accomplished something? Completing yet another Pomodoro creates a small intrinsic reward – even if the task is not fully completed
Pomodoro and flow Establish the foundation for flow Widen the range where flow can be experienced Create rewards for things that are not candidates for flow-experiences
Procrastination Tasks are too big, complex or difficult We cannot get started
Perception of time Linear Events
Pomodoro LIFO BDUF
The Pomodoro technique Accessories Timer Activity Inventory Sheet To Do Today Sheet Recording Sheet
The Pomodoro Driven Day Planning Recording and Improving
Strategy for internal interruptions Observe, Accept, Plan or Remove In practice Find out what it is and accept it Add to urgent and unplanned or inventory Re-focus Re-plan after the pomodoro
Strategy for external interruptions Inform – I'm in the middle of something Negotiate – is it OK if I come back to you on Friday? Schedule – I write the title of the activity down and later on, I plan it for a future Pomodoro Call back – I do call back as I have promised, otherwise I will not be entrusted with this responsibility anymore
The Pomodoro Rhythm +5 m +5 m +5 m +20-30 m +5 m +5 m +5 m +20-30 m +5 m +5 m +5 m +20-30 m +5 m +5 m +5 m +20-30 m
Rules The Pomodoro is indivisible Choices If there is 5-15 minutes left: Overlearn If you have to do something else: Void it Always remember: The next Pomodoro will go better!
Rules If an activity is larger then approx. 7 Pomodoros – break it into smaller pieces If an activity is less than a Pomodoro group it with other small activities
Rules The Break is a Break Not an opportunity to do other work
Benefits of Pomodoro
Overview:Planning in the start of the day
Small “guilt-free” breaks along the day
Motivation for routine tasks. Finishing a Pomodoro is a reward in itself
A way to handle procrastination: Wind up the clock and get started
A strategy for handling interruptions
A tool for continous improvement
Pair Pomodoro Control start and stop of focused activity Review progress and strategy every 25 mins
Meeting podoro Agenda with duration in Pomodoros Prevent drifting or long-winded talking Necessary breaks to clear mind (and empty bladder)
Team Pomodoro Interruptions at controlled times Trying once more Protocol for what can interrupt an pomodoro
BestBrains GHM & Workshops Future GHM aboutKanban (writeyouemail for notification): ”Extending Scrum withKanban and Lean techniques” More info onhttp://bestbrains.dk/dansk.aspx/Workshops
Todo What kind of timer Picture of timers Kinds of timers Software Hardware – electronic Hardware - manual Video Sound file More stats Interruptions Pomodorosvs hours Kinds of pomodoros
I replace “I must finish” with “Where can I start?” and I replace “This project is so big and important” with “I can take one small step.” [NF06]
Thoughts become famous inside your head. And just like pop stars, publicity increases the chances of getting more publicity. By repeating an important conclusion, I increase the probability that I will recall it at a proper time. [TB06]
The strategy for handling external interruptions is a four stage rocket: 1. Inform – I'm in the middle of something 2. Negotiate – is it OK if I come back to you on Friday? 3. Schedule – I write the title of the activity down and later on, I plan it for a future Pomodoro 4. Call back – I do call back as I have promised, otherwise I will not be entrusted with this responsibility anymore
The strategy for dealing with internal interruptions is to Observe, Accept, and Plan-or-Remove. I never switch activity in the middle of a Pomodoro. The rule says: “Once a Pomodoro Begins, It Has to Ring.” Following my instincts can appear urgent. But, with a little distance I realize that the box office will still be ready to answer my call if I chose to do it during my next Pomodoro – instead of interrupting my current.
Psychologist Edward Vul asked people various trivia questions. Without telling them, he repeated some of the questions a moment later. He noticed then that on average, a person's combined answers were more correct than either of her single guesses. Why? Cognition is based on statistical inference. Trying to answer a trivia question creates a range of possible values in my head. Every time I answer, I unconsciously just pick one of these values. The average of my answers is close to perfect but their standard deviation is far from zero. [MB08]