Welcome to our productivity series. We will be taking you through the basics of each technique – and we are pointing you in the right direction if it sounds like a method that might help you get some stuff done. First up…
#1: The Pomodoro Technique
The new term is upon us, and right about now is when all those New Year’s resolutions tend to go out the window. That includes less procrastination, more work, healthy eating, getting essays in on time, more organisation… etc.
Ultimately, these things are down to you, and there’s nothing, and no-one who could force you to turn off Jeremy Kyle, get out of bed and get your revision done if you really don’t want to. However, there are some productivity techniques that I’ve come across that really do seem to help with that urge to spring clean the house as soon as a deadline is looming. One of these is the ‘Pomodoro Technique.’
The Pomodoro technique unfortunately does not involve a delicious tomato pasta sauce – hopefully the name has not already had your mind drifting away to thoughts of dinner. This approach teaches you how to manage your time, focus on the task in front of you, and most importantly take the breaks that will prevent your mind feeling completely frazzled.
The technique is extremely simple: you decide on which task you want to complete, and set a timer (usually 25 minutes). You work on the task – calmly, without the need to race against time. At the end of the session you have earned yourself a short five-minute break. You continue this four times (which makes a ‘set’), after which you have earned a longer break of 15-20 minutes. The key is to avoid distraction – any thoughts you have that might send your head in to the clouds will be locked away until your break, when you are free to daydream all you like.
And remember to take it easy during this time. As a student, I don’t think I ever had to be told twice to take it easy, but it really is important that this is a time when your brain can relax and think about something else. If you complete a task and have time left over, use the time to overlearn – there is always room for improvement!
Try this technique and let us know how it goes. We will be exploring other ways to ensure productivity in the coming weeks!