In 500 a.C. Heraclitus of Ephesus stated that “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.”
The will of “managing our own time” is, probably, the roughest mistake we are led to. Time can’t be managed, to put it in Greeks terms, “Panta Rei”, everything flows…
From this consideration was born a funny and easy technique, that we’d like to share with you, the Pomodoro Technique.
In a very brief summary, the precept consists in splitting our day in “time boxes”, the tomatoes. Early in the day, we decide what we are going to do, how many tomatoes we are going to need and how many we have.
Testing it, we have noticed some interesting effects:
The first effect is that we won’t be able to finish all the things we thought we would do in the morning, if we realise that sooner, in the evening we won’t have the feeling that we still have so much to do.
The second effect is to “watch from afar” what we are doing, in order to correct the course instead of insisting on a wrong road.
The third effect is to ration our energy better and make it through the day more relaxed… and it’s no small thing!
The technique is based on a tomato-shaped timer and a few rules:
- A tomato lasts 25 minutes, in addition a 5 minutes’ break
- Every 4 tomatoes a 15-30 minutes’ break
- A tomato lasts 25 minutes, no more and no less
- An interrupted tomato must be repeated
- An activity has to last from 1 to 7 tomatoes, longer activities have to be broken up, shorter activities have to be incorporated
The Italian version of the book can be downloaded here.
A last consideration, for who deals with Lean Production… takt time?