Happy 2020! As we begin the new year, I strive to help my students have the most successful year possible. One of the easiest but most useful tool that I can teach is the Pomodoro Technique - a tool to conquer procrastination forever! I hope you will read this and share it with your family.
The American Psychological Association estimates that 80-95 % of college students procrastinate on their schoolwork, while 86% of high school students procrastinate!
Procrastination has tangible negative effects:
There are many reasons students procrastinate:
Ultimately, we procrastinate because doing things we do not like activates the pain center of our brain - but research shows that once we get started on the dreaded task, the pain goes away in 20 minutes. The key is to just get started!
1. Shut off all distractions - there are a number of pomodoro apps to help you do this. "Forest" is a very simple timer that sends you messages if you check another site on your phone, while BeFocusedPro tracks tasks and work intervals.
2. Set the timer for 25 minutes.
3. Focus on ONE task only for 25 minutes. Do not set any goals! Just work for 25 minutes. (Younger students may need to work for only 10 or 15 minutes.)
4. At the end of 25 minutes take a 5-10 minute BREAK! Reward yourself with something pleasant. This might be the most important part of the Pomodoro - do not skip the reward!! If you are caught up in social drama - texting may not count as a break. Your mind needs to relax!
5. If you think of something else that you have to do during your Pomodoro, simply write it down and continue with your 25 minute interval.
As you work up your stamina, try to string together four Pomodoros and then take a longer break. Soon you will feel less overwhelmed and in more control! You can use this technique for other activities, too - like cleaning your room or writing your thank you notes!
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