If you’re struggling to be productive, finish assignments, meet deadlines and get your revision going smoothly, the Pomodoro Technique might help you out.
Developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s, he used this technique while at Uni.
It could help you get more done – and that includes more fun. It’s all about breaking tasks and time down in short, manageable chunks and taking regular breaks.
You’ll need to be a little bit organised. Work out what you want to achieve, and figure out what time you have available to complete your tasks. And you’ll also need a timer – old school kitchen timers will do the job, or use what’s available on your phone or computer.
If you find you’re loving this technique, you can download the offical Pomodoro timer to your phone for $1.99.
- Choose the task you’ll be focusing on
- Set the time for 25 minutes and commit yourself to work on the task without interruption. If something else pops in to your head while your working jot it down so you don’t forget, but don’t allow yourself to deviate.
- When the buzzer goes, stop working & take a break. Don’t be tempted to keep working – walk away from your desk for at least 5 minutes.
- One whole cycle of work and a break is a Pomodoro – keep track of how many cycles you’ve completed by making a note on a piece of paper (it’ll help you realise how long you need to accomplish tasks in the future)
- Go back to your task and repeat the Pomodoro cycle.
- After 4 or 5 cycles, take a longer break. 20-30 minutes at least.
- Start the process again
- Use a few minutes out of the last Pomodoro to go over all the work you’ve done, and assess your progress. Stop when your task is complete, or when you’ve run out of time for the day, whichever suits you best.
You’ll start learning to anticipate how long tasks will take you, and how much time you need to accomplish it. Improving your planning and time management skills, are great to add to your CV.
Learn to avoid interruptions, so you can deal with them at a more suitable time (includes text messages, emails and notifications from your mates).
Establish a great work ethic which could help you out now, but will continue to be useful later in life too.
Taking breaks regularly could stop you feeling stressed and frazzled at the end of the day, it could also help you take in more of what you’re learning.
You might have to try it out for a few days to get used to it and decide whether you find it useful or not. But it could be well worth a try if you’re struggling to check off your to-do list.