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How to increase your team's productivity with the Pomodoro Technique

The Pomodoro Technique is an efficient time management method that breaks down work into 25-minute intervals (called pomodori) separated by 5-minute breaks in order to improve concentration and mental agility.

During these pomodori, the user has to focus on a single task. You cannot check your emails, chat with your colleagues or answer the phone until the next break. Every four pomodori you can have a long break (30 minutes).

Let's be honest, we all have troubles managing our time. You are working on your code and suddenly you receive an email that makes you lose your focus. Not to mention if you have smartphone or Facebook dependency. Task switching is not efficient, having short breaks after a high-concentration pomodoro is.

I have been using the Pomodoro Technique together with Scrum, where time tracking is not acceptable, but leveraging team members' performance is always welcome.

The results are very positive. My colleagues hesitated at first, but once they were fully committed we were able to deliver more and better artifacts per sprint, and team satisfaction significantly increased.

Some free pomodoro tools:

  • Strict Workflow. Free Google Chrome plugin that enables users to manage their pomodori and block websites that are not allowed during these intervals (i.e. Facebook, Gmail, Twitter, online news,...).
  • LiveTeamApp. Free web app that helps you manage your pomodori, track your tasks and chat with other team mates. No registration is required.
  • Moosti. Free web app to easily manage your pomodori and breaks.

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