Youth talk by Sarah

November 6 - 13, 2018

Allow me to introduce a method that will help increase your productivity, like it does for me, someone who easily falls prey to the perils of procrastination.

This method is especially beneficial to students, or for tasks that require sitting down for a while and exerting mental effort.

Set a timer for 25-45 minutes and work continuously for that time, after which you may take a five to seven minute break.

Repeat this cycle three or four times and then take a longer break of 15 minutes. The five to seven minute break is quite short, but only because it is simply an opportunity for a breather and you may enjoy a longer rest during your 15 minute break. Oh, and stay away from social media (the black hole of productivity)!

This method works for several reasons.

Firstly, because it factors in break time, it leaves you with something to look forward to as you work or study and helps you plough through it.

The next reason is that the promise of a break makes you more liable to sit down and get at least some work done. Kind of like in chemistry, where extra energy is needed to overcome the baseline energy needed to start the reaction, this break serves as an incentive to start on your task.

And lastly, because optimal cognitive function (the way a person best learns) is said to taper off after around 20 to 45 minutes of work, even though you feel you could do more, this study-break cycle ensures your mind remains fresh and receptive to take in new information.

The Pomodoro Technique really came in handy back in school when the last thing I wanted to do was practice balancing chemical equations or solve math problems. I hope it does the same for you, whatever the task needed to be completed.


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