The Pomodoro method is not as cool as it could be

    The pomodoro method has not very obvious nuances. And these nuances, if we reformulate Klitschko, are understood not only by everyone, few can do it.

    So let's see what this method is and what could be improved.

    Briefly about the method itself

    For effective work, you need to break the working day into intervals: 25 minutes of full concentration at work (without chatter, without messengers, without Habr). Then 5 minutes of rest. Then again 25 minutes of work, etc. If in the middle of the 25-minute “tomato” was distracted, then start over again. There are a bunch of programs that track time, they can show you statistics on tomatoes and progress.

    The method provides three advantages at once:

    1. the brain gets used to concentrate
    2. the brain has time to rest
    3. you know how much you did in a day, how much you spent on a task, etc.

    The fact that the method seriously increases productivity is beyond doubt. I tried it on myself when I was a linear programmer. However, the method has nuances.

    25 minutes is not very suitable

    The classic mechanical pomodoro timer starts for 25 minutes. But this does not suit everyone.

    This is noticed by software manufacturers. In almost every program for the Pomodoro method, there is a setting where you can specify the interval for work and rest, whether to take a long break, etc.

    However, even these settings are insufficient. When I actively applied the method, I set myself 50 minutes in the morning, because in the morning I had more energy, and I easily concentrated on this period, and by evening I sometimes had to reduce the interval. The brain is not rubber, it gets tired anyway.

    Still, it happens, I didn’t get enough sleep - and then, in general, everything is completely different. You are waiting for a break, like manna from heaven, and then the break seems too small for you.

    In general, 25 minutes is a figure from the bulldozer.

    How could the system be improved: some kind of sensor on the head, like an EEG, measuring fatigue and concentration. As soon as a person is tired, give a break. As soon as I rested, say that it’s time to work.

    On the other hand, employers will be able to use such sensors to assess who is doing their best at work; I hope I will not live up to such total control.

    For team leaders and other leaders, the method is not suitable

    I am a team leader who sometimes writes code. Sometimes you want to take on some critical part of the project, and make it right right away. The hand immediately reaches for the pomodoro-timer. And ... that doesn't work.

    They pull me all the time. Petya wrote in a chat, Vasya asked in person, Pasha called for a rally. You can’t do a single normal tomato here, especially in open space.

    And there is nothing to be done about it - the work of the team lead largely consists in coordinating people and solving their problems. If you are a team leader, and know how to use pomodoro at the same time, write pliz in comments.

    Open space

    The pomodoro method in open space is doomed. You are constantly distracted, and no tricky practices will help here. Petya joked about the elections, Vasya opened the window, and from there he blows, Pasha naturally speaks in a loud voice. Full concentration can never be achieved. In general, always fun.

    It would be ideal if the open space was divided into a loud and quiet zone (with library rules of silence). Then any person could choose what is more important for him - to discuss the details of the task or concentrate on the solution.

    By the way, it would be cool to invent such headphones that would completely block the external sound, but at the same time release the lock when they call you by name (for urgent matters). Those. with speech recognition. Well, at the same time, you can hang a "do not disturb" light bulb on them and connect it to Podoro software.


    Total, you need a device that measures fatigue and concentration, having an indication of busyness, blocking external sounds with unlocking by name for urgent matters. Only then will it be close to ideal.

    And still, this will not help the team leader.

    We discuss this and other topics in the Zinc Prod podcast . Listen and subscribe!

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