What do you call an on-time tomato?

Pomodoro! It’s one of these little 25 mintute kitchen timers

pomodoro kitchen timer

So why is this relevant? Well, Inge my personal business coach told me this story…

There were two teams asked to each cut a tree down. Team One went at it like crazy, with non-stop sawing all morning and finished the job 4 hours later. They were knackered and red raw, but done. Team Two cut for 25 minutes, then stopped for a 5 minute breather to gently sharpen their saw, then went at it again for 25 minutes before having another break. They finished in 2 hours, but not knackered and also ready to cut more trees. But why?

It’s because team two took time out from a draining task to respect their tool and their levels of concentration. They were able to work efficiently in bursts, rather than just slogging away at it. Also, they looked after their tool by having breaks and giving it the respect it needed to be at it’s best.

In a digital business, your tool is very much your mind. When you’ve been working away at a problem for too long, you end up getting mentally drained, just going round in circles and getting into a sustained flow of not working at your best. But, have some little breaks frees your mind for a minute and let’s it subconsciously solve some riddles and relax.

In a digital business, your tool is very much your mind

So these next two weeks I’m actively trying the pomodoro method as a personal time management technique. Taking 25 mins, then stopping to make tea or wander about for 5. I’ll do 4 sessions of that, then take a larger break and get back to the cycle again. Of course, there’s a little web app to help me along, pomodoro.me

Mootsi timer

I will report back how it’s been and whether it’s worth trying!


By Dan Course

Senior Instructional Designer. Partnerships, people, products, delivery, agile tech and online edu. Naturally curious, innovative and willing to challenge the status quo.

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