Author: Valerio Ghezzi
In this guest post, a university student shares his thoughts and experience using the Pomodoro Technique.
This project will take so much time, I don't know how to get organized! I'll never have enough time to study for everything! Will I be able get this summary of the first chapter written by the end of the day?
These are the questions and doubts that we university students ask ourselves day after day; apart from what we're studying, the hardest part is - without doubt - time management. This isn't grade school; there's no one here to look over your shoulder and make sure you're doing your work!
Often, not being able to manage our time makes us feel frustrated and helpless when trying to do work that starts to loom menacingly over our heads. Having experimented using the Pomodoro Technique for some time now, one of the first assumptions is that time has a specific value and weight; the Pomodoro unit marks this period of time and encompasses these objective characteristics.
Hearing the tick-tick of the timer is an incentive to do well, and the 5-minute break between pomodoros seems truly well-earned! At the end of the day, the satisfaction of having completed all (or most) of the pomodoros scheduled gives us the right motivation to plan the next day's work and we feel satisfied at having reached our objectives without procrastinating from laziness or lack of willpower.
Seeing the pomodoros completed clearly demonstrate that putting things off works always and only to our detriment! Being able to observe ourselves at any time (by looking at the minutes remaining on the timer) gives us immediate feedback on how effectively we are studying and the progress on our project; if we are interrupted we can separate that time by choosing to "throw away" a pomodoro or by delaying the activity that interrupted us; that way we can get out from under the general tendency to use distractions as a pretext for getting distracted! And by listing our activities we now have a valuable tool for filing all of our ideas that would otherwise be forgotten.