1-2 days every week I schedule “slack” days, where I try to catch up on emails, do some admin, prepare for future engagements, and such. During the past year I’ve been using the Pomodoro technique more and more consistently and, the more I use it, the more I find that it really works well! It has changed the way I think of time.
Pomodoro is similar to Scrum – but at a “micro” level. Although it can be used for pairs and teams, it was originally designed for individual use. To me this feels sort of like a single-person Scrum with 25-minute sprints, with many of the same benefits :o)
There’s an increasing amount of material available on this, but I find myself re-reading the original paper about the Pomodoro technique (by Francesco Cirillo) about once every 1-2 months. It’s an excellent read.
Update 2015: He has now also written a book called Pomodoro Technique Illustrated. A great read! I wrote the foreword – using the Pomodoro technique of course 🙂
Anyway, give it a shot!