The picture in your head © karbos

Of course, the first thing you think of is the interrupt controller, you nerd. No, this is more about being interrupted at work. We touched on this in a mentioned elsewhere in this blog, and I was thinking we need to make it practical. Is there a connection with the interrupt controller?

I moved from loving flow, to breaking flow regularly. From discouraging interruptions to accepting interruptions as part of life. And now it is time to move on; essentially a quest to improve overall work-life happiness, becoming more productive.

There is a bit of a history on how I experienced office set-up. Essentially from closed offices to non-partitioned desks. It had an impact on interrupts. The war room must be one of the best compromises.

OK, one compromise we could think of was to discourage interruptions during a pomodoro. To do this, we need to show the outside world that we are in a pomodoro and that you are welcome to interrupt, at the risk of being in an uncomfortable, unfriendly encounter with someone taking a few moments to process the interrupt and accept the sad fact the the pomodoro is over.

Well, this means that you may interrupt at any time. But if you know this is not a good time, maybe you can wait the average 25 / 2 minutes and catch a person in a break after a successful pomodoro. You will then have to know when the opportunity is there…

How do we make the “workrave” timer more visible? Any other ideas? Just get a kitchen timer?


  1. Sep 13, 2010
    3:18 pm


    One thought is to have synchronised pomodoros. So when your timer goes, so does everyone else's. That way you will never unwittingly interrupt. The downside is that everybody will be rushing to the loo at the same time 😉

  2. Sep 13, 2010
    3:21 pm

    Otto Behrens

    Yes, we can do something like the pomodoro starts on the hour and 1/2 hour.

  3. Sep 13, 2010
    8:48 pm


    We know that some interruptions are unavoidable.
    And we know that it's healthy to take frequent breaks – good for the mind and body – and good for the quality of work.

    But how can we make these breaks come more naturally?

    I struggled with my introduction to the pomodoro technique because the break was forced at a certain time. If the time is right, then it's certainly a great reminder.

    But I suffered because it often broke my train of thought when trying to understand a difficult issue – and it took me a while to get back to where I was.

    Perhaps it's the better of 2 evils?

    Or is there a way we make these breaks come more naturally?

  4. Sep 18, 2010
    4:07 pm


    It comes more naturally if you start each pomodoro with a big jug of water …

  5. Sep 20, 2010
    3:11 pm

    Otto Behrens

    You should say that it flows more naturally that way; or perhaps you get into flow more naturally 🙂

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