Students and professors often complain that there's not enough time in the day. Most of us are always on the look out for shortcuts and ways to pack more into our days. The first time management technique that we learn is to make a to-do list and prioritize it to indicate which tasks are more important, and should therefore be finished first.
Most of us have a to-do list. Many are very long and detailed, with tasks sorted and prioritized. Yet the list sits, uncompleted, a victim to procrastination.
Even the best academics procrastinate sometimes. However, they learn how to move beyond procrastination paralysis to make progress on their work. How can you overcome procrastination? Start somewhere and work in short bursts. The timer technique can help you stay on task .
The Pomodoro Technique is a more formal timer-based time management technique. Named after a cute tomato-shaped timer, the Pomodoro technique is simple but effective.
1. Choose a task.
2. Set the timer to 25 minutes.
3. Work until the timer rings. You've just completed a Pomodoro!
4. Take a 5 minute break.
5. Start again.
6. Keep track of your work.
7. After completing 4 Pomodoros, take a longer break.
It's a simple - even silly - system. But if it works and keeps you focused, who cares?