Time is so often the enemy when you are in graduate school. Too much to do in too little time; balancing your time between school and life; finding time to relax without feeling guilty; and ensuring you take the necessary time to get your work done. All of these demands on your time make it a previous commodity.
And for those with a penchant for procrastination, time is doubly troublesome.
If you have already heard about the Pomodoro Technique, you can probably skip this entry, but if you haven’t, it’s a great tool for bringing some focus to a task and managing your time usefully when working on a project.
As all good tools, it’s simple:
- Choose a task or list of tasks
- Write them down (or enter them into your computer)
- Set a timer (kitchen, digital, or Pomodoro application) for 25 minutes
- Work for 25 minutes (which is one “Pomodoro”)
- After 25 minutes, take a 5 minute break then do another Pomodoro
- After 4 Pomodoro’s take a longer break
When you start using this as a work technique you find that 25 minutes goes by pretty quickly and it’s a lot easier to psyche yourself up to start when you know all you have to do is work for 25 minutes instead of finish an activity that might take considerably longer. Make sure that when you take a break, you move around and look out a window. Don’t simply switch over to Facebook or Twitter.
You can find out more about the technique here. While I haven’t been doing this regularly this semester, as various papers become more and more pressing, I’m going to have to do this more often in the coming weeks. There have been times in the past when I did practice this regularly and find that it really works in helping focus and time management and highly recommend that you give it a try. Let me know what you think.