Agile methodologies allow proper organization of work, establishing an order of priorities and preventing the realization of accumulation several tasks at the same time.
Once we have clear tasks, we think about how we could organize time to maximize our productivity.
One possible solution is to use the pomodoro method. Besides meaning tomato in Italian, it is a methodology of distribution of working time, it is divided into blocks (which precisely given the name pomodoros), which usually last 30 minutes each. Within each of the blocks, there is a time slice allocated for the work, which usually is 25 minutes, and another dedicated to rest, which is usually 5 minutes.
When you have finished 4 or 5 blocks (or work packages), there is usually a longer break, which lasts for about 15 to 20 minutes.
What is needed to apply the pomodoro method?
It is only necessary to have a list of tasks to perfom and a timer. There are analog timers shaped tomatoes, which are named by this method, but a watch or clock is valid.
Experts in this methodology recommend an analog clock or some kind of physical mechanism, then simply activade it and the user is aware that the time has just begun and realize that they should focus all their attention on making the corresponding task.
How does the cycle of activity in the pomodoro method work?
The user must sit at the desk with a list of tasks, which has to be physically written on paper, and with his pomodoro analog preference. The fact that the list and the stopwatch are physical is part of the ritual, they allow the user to be fully aware about the starts and the ends and receives little satisfaction enable or disable the timer and deleting tasks, which are already completed.
Once you have these two elements, you must activate the timer to 25 minutes later and concentrate all the attention on the task corresponding. The 25 minutes of work must be net, without interruption like answering calls, discussing with colleagues…
All attention should be focused on the task until the timer rings. At that time, you should leave the job as it is, without to try to finish the activity for some more minutes.
Like the 25 minutes of work, there are 5 minutes to do a small break, which has to be dedicated to anything else than the task you are working on.
When you have finished 4 or 5 tasks and breaks you should rest for about 15 or 20 minutes, where you can eat something or do some kind of moderate physical activity, which helps to relax the body and mind. So it will be possible to face the next work cycle fully physical and psychological conditions.
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How can I increase my productivity in the Pomodoro method?
The pomodoro method was born in the environment of computer programming. These tasks require high concentration and productivity can be seen very undermined if workers are interrupted with calls, consultations or unnecessary breaks.
How many times have you felt that you have dedicated more time to a task, than necessary? How many times do you think this has been blamed for undue interruption, not only for the time they have taken from you, but also for the way they have affected your concentration? How often have you tried to complete a task and you have taken much longer to finish than it would have cost if you had a clear mind?
The pomodoro method seeks to enhance the concentration of workers when performing tasks. This is how able you are to increase the net time dedicated to work and avoid distractions and time thieves, only lengthen the time spent working but shorten the time actually intended to work.
Is it possible to integrate the Pomodoro Technique in my agile methodologies at work?
Of course it is possible, and it is recommended. In fact, some of them, like Kanban, complement particularly well.
In addition, we recommend it not only for work, but we are confident that it will change the distribution of time in your life. You are getting the master of your time, and therefore of your life.
What do you need to start to be more efficient? You only need paper, a pen and a watch and then you can watch how your results greatly improves.
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