A WIP Workout: Pomodoro and Personal Kanban

Jim BensonDesignPatterns, Expert, Featured, Primers3 Comments

The Pomodoro Technique and Personal Kanban

Pomodoro and Personal Kanban

Focus is essential to giving a task your all.  Our increasingly hectic lifestyles are however, rarely conducive to focus. How many people do you know who go to work early, stay late, and even pop by the office on weekends, just so they can “actually get some work done.”

But then people tend to go too far in the other direction. They focus for a very, very long time … they drill down … they go deep. They overfocus.

Q: Ever wonder why you get great ideas in the shower?

A: Because you aren’t doing anything.

So, Pomodoro says, focus and work for 25 minutes, then rest for a bit, then work for another 25 minutes.  During those bursts, you are working on one focused thing.  Thinking hard, working hard. Then, you kick back and let your brain say “ahhhhhh”.

It’s just like a workout – you don’t walk into the gym and spend an hour doing 100 pound curls. You do short bursts of directed and focused activity. Then stretch.

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And just like a workout, during your Pomodoro breaks it’s a very good idea to hydrate.

Personal Kanban dovetails nicely with Pomodoro. Your work-in-progress is handled in the 25 minute bursts of activity. Your Personal Kanban is always filtering and prioritizing what fits into those bursts.  The Personal Kanban takes on the role of your trainer – watching what you do, recommending the next set, helping you understand your exercises and optimize for the next ones.

Since Personal Kanban’s “got your back,” you understand that you’ve organized your tasks, chosen the best one at the time, and will get to the others in due course. Without this peace-of-mind, you can’t really focus.

True focus requires clarity, concentration, and commitment.  Personal Kanban gives you the organization to focus, while Pomodoro can give you the structured time.

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Jim BensonA WIP Workout: Pomodoro and Personal Kanban

3 Comments on “A WIP Workout: Pomodoro and Personal Kanban”

  1. Seann Hicks

    I can see how Pomodoro might help with Kanban “flow”, and how intense focus might be achieved in “bursts” of energy. I will if I can introduce this behavioral pattern.

  2. Pingback: Boosting Productivity and Learning with Spikes | Personal Kanban

  3. Pingback: HOW TO: How to Limit WIP #3–Reducing Interruptions | Personal Kanban

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