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:
- I will be as focussed as possible on solving a problem for a 25 minute period
- I will be checking my passive communication (email, Hip Chat) at the end of the 25 minutes, and can follow up then
- 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 pomodorotechnique.com