Focus & Pomodoro

I thought I’d share a small change I’m trying with work to hopefully improve my focus, speed, and quality of work. 

I see interruptions as an important part of my job, but occasionally I’m also required to accomplish some tasks that require a lot of thought, and when I shift my focus to another issue I find my attention divided. I want to be able to scale my role as developer / product manager to be able to handle thousands of sites, so I thought it prudent to do some research on how to get things done more effectively! 

First, it’s key to communicate. The team knows when I am delivering a time-sensitive project I’m going to start using the “Do Not Disturb” status in our IM client, Hip Chat, as well as a physical red “DND light” at my desk. This will be my way of letting the team know a couple things: 

  1. I will be as focussed as possible on solving a problem for a 25 minute period 
  2. I will be checking my passive communication (email, Hip Chat) at the end of the 25 minutes, and can follow up then
  3. This isn’t to completely prevent all interruption (emergencies happen!), but foster time and space for great problem solving and collaboration.

Hopefully this short-delay style of work sprints will only serve to make collaborations smoother as everyone will have a less divided version of my attention! 

The 25 minute work-sessions idea comes from the Pomodoro Technique! The video here sums it up well

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