Fight fire with fire and procrastination with productive work. This is not an easy task, so today we will offer you one of the fascinating methods of time management. It helps a lot to cope with the desire to postpone work for the next day, a week, or a month. Shall we try?
Procrastination especially annoys those who learn English on their own. How often did you postpone studying English "for later"? You said to yourself "I'm tired today, I'll do it tomorrow." The next day: "No, the weather is fine today, I'll go for a walk, and English will wait". We feed ourselves these excuses day by day because we are afraid to take up work, we are afraid not to cope, we are afraid of boredom – everyone has their own reason. However, a lost possibility, like unread books, can painfully remind of itself in future. So let us try to fight this state with the help of an interesting method of time management.
What Is This Technique?
The technique was invented by Italian student Francesco Cirillo. The story goes that Francesco did not shine with knowledge in the classroom, and this (unlike less responsible students) did not suit him. He decided to fight attacks of procrastination in order to improve his academic performance. To sit for a few hours with textbooks? No, it is too boring.
The intelligent student creatively approached the solution of the problem. He decided to alternate short intervals of work and rest. To follow the time, he used a kitchen timer in the form of a tomato (hence the origin of this bizarre name of the technique). By trial and error, Francesco managed to determine the optimal proportion of the time of work and rest.
The brain most actively processes information in the first 25 minutes of studying. After that, you should take a short break about 5 minutes. This is the first "tomato". Then we proceed to the second "tomato" – we learn another 25 minutes, after which – a 5-minute break. Thus, we "eat" four "tomatoes". After the fourth "vegetable" we make a long break – 15-20 minutes. Then again you can do the next four "tomatoes".
How to Learn English in a Similar Way?
We advise you to use the Pomodoro technique as much as possible during studying as well as in preparation for the exam. You can apply it as follows:
- Determine how much time you are willing to spend to learn English today. For example, today you have two free hours;
- Make a list of the cases that need to be completed during this time. For example, you want to repeat rules of using Present Continuous and read a text in English;
- Choose a convenient timer. It can be a kitchen device in the form of the same tomato, and an application for a smartphone Pomodroido, and a timer on the website tomato-timer.com.;
- Start work: turn on the timer and repeat the grammatical constructions. After 25 minutes, you should stop, even if you have not finished the work. Rest for 5 minutes and only then resume studying. In two hours, you will have time to go through four "tomatoes". However, time will fly faster in sensations than with the usual 2-hour learning.
Several Rules for the Successful Application of Technology
- You cannot skip breaks, cut them. Even if you are preparing for the exam, do not neglect the rest. Continuous "absorption" of the material will lead to nothing good: concentration of attention will decrease, the brain will not "absorb" knowledge;
- You can not be distracted during a 25-minute "tomato". If you had to interrupt for at least 1-2 minutes, restart the timer: breaks are intended for entertainment and outside affairs;
- Think about the plan of classes in advance: small cases like studying a dozen words can be combined with another short case. Large ones, for example, repetition of the grammar section, are better to be divided into two "tomatoes".
Why Do We Recommend Using This Technique?
- The method helps concentrate
During a 5-minute rest, the organism has time to relax, distract and recharge. In addition, in these 5 minutes, you can pay attention to extraneous details so that they do not distract you during studying. You start a new 25-minute "tomato" in full readiness for productive work.
- Small "tomatoes" are attractive
It is much more preferable for you to study knowing that you will only have to work 25 minutes, and not sit with textbooks for an indefinite period. Even 6-8 approaches will not embarrass you if you remember that you can afford to rest several times during this time.
- Learning goes faster
The fashionable word "deadline" helps self-discipline and self-organization. Let us say, you decided to read a short story in English, and then go in for grammar. If you do not determine at what time you need to accomplish each task, the process risks exceeding the time limit. You can be distracted, read slowly, often look in the dictionary (which we strongly do not recommend doing), eventually, spend a lot of time and can completely forget about grammatical constructions.
Another thing when you decide: you need to meet two "tomatoes" with reading, and to spend the second two for grammar. You will not notice how you start reading faster, because you have planned the workflow in advance, promised to keep within a certain time.
- You will see how you need to learn and how effectively you can learn
Often we do not know exactly how long it takes to work on a particular task. This technique allows you to distribute tasks by complexity. You will feel how much time you need to do this kind of work or another, look at what takes more time, what you need to pay attention to if you are preparing for the exam.
- Scruple does not worry you
When we make unplanned breaks and get distracted from work, we often experience ambiguous feelings. We are tormented by conscience: "Well, I am distracted again, I do not have time today again". Using Pomodoro technique, you get a legitimate 5-minute break, during which you can do whatever you want.
This technique like all other methods of time management is not universal and mandatory for use. Someone likes it, someone does not: each person is individual and prefers to study at a convenient pace. However, we recommend that you try this technique in practice, we hope you will be able to get rid of procrastination and learn how to manage precious minutes. Have pleasant "tomatoes"!