July 20

Episode 041 – Procurement Productivity – The Pomodoro


In this episode and the next one, we will cover how you can be more productive in your procurement life

Episode Highlights

  • Today we cover the pomodoro technique
  • Tomorrows topic will be the Eisenhower matrix
  • So, the pomodoro technique, let's quickly explain, what it is
  • It is an easy 5 step process
    1. you pick a specific task, such as reading a contract
    2. you set a timer for 25 minutes
    3. you work on your task, until the 25 minutes are up
    4. you take a 5 minute break
    5. repeat. Every 4 pomodoros, you do a longer break of 20 to 30 minutes
  • why is it called pomodoro?
    • pomodoro is the italien word for tomato
    • the inventor, Francesco Cirillo, used a pomodoro shaped kitchen timer when he first developed the method
  • why is it so helpful?
  • A lot procurement pros struggle with the following problems:
    • lots of little distractions, such as email or messaging, derail focus and impact your work perofrmance
    • a lot of our tasks take unlimited amounts of time. E. g. supplier research could last 30 minutes or the whole day, depending on what oyu discvoer
    • the pomodoro gives you a clear cutting point
    • a lot of people overestimate what they can achieve in an hour
  • the pomodoro allows you for several "sessions" in a focus zone to concentrate on one topic and one topic only
  • it would be best, to not do anything else, so put your phone on mute and don't look into your inbox
  • this also works very well with how our calendars are structured. 2 pomodoros fit perfectly into one hour
  • pomodoro is also very beneficial when you combine it with several agile methodologies as we have discussed in previous episodes
    • combine the breakdown of achievable tasks like user stories with pomodoro and you will be amazed what you can achieve
  • this may all sound strange to you and for sure has a gamification effect but it really helps for example with the following:
    • contract to read? set 2 hours aside = 4 pomodoros. After that, do a longer break
    • important email to write? 1 pomodoro will help you to get the job done
    • working on a presentation for the next townhall? 2 to 4 pomodoros will help you to concentrate on your story
  • one tool I have found quite helpful is the website eggtimer, which I will link in the episode notes and under the video
    • it has a preconfigured setting for one pomodoro which you can use right away
  • tomorrow, we will talk about the Eisenhower matrix


Online timer for the Pomodoro Technique: https://e.ggtimer.com/ 


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