In this chapter Oakley goes over the Pomodoro technique which is a little bit weird, it involves a time shaped like a tomato, sounds crazy right? but this actually helps you out with things like procrastination and (brain pain). Created by Francesco Cirillo in the 1980s, it is simple and it works. This actually is one of the the most popular techniques in Learning How to Learn.

First you will need a timer, the tomato shaped timer is great but any timer will do. Many people will use Pomodoro apps on their phones or iPads.

The technique works like this:

  • 1. Shut off all distractions–your phone, the TV, your music, your brother/sister. Anything that gets in the way of you ability to focus. Find a quiet place to work where you won’t be interrupted. If you can afford them, consider noise canceling headphones or cheaper, just as effective, earplugs.
  • 2. Set the timer for 25 minutes
  • 3.Get going, FOCUS on the task as well as you can. Twenty-five minutes is not that long.
  • 4. Now for the best part. After 25 minutes reward yourself. Watch a dance video or listen to your favorite song. Cuddle with your dog. Or talk to your friends for 5 or ten minutes or so. When your looking forward to a reward, your brain helps you focus better.

We call this process, including the reward, “doing a Pomodoro.” When you “do a Pomodoro” forget about finishing the task. Don’t say “I’m going to finish all my homework during this Pomodoro.” You might finish whatever your working on. But don’t worry if you don’t. Just work as hard as you can for 25 minutes. When the timer goes off, take a break. Dip into your diffuse mode with the reward.

You may need to do another Pomodoro later, but that’s okay. You’re doing the right thing just by working hard on that task. Don’t worry about how much you do. You will finish. But leave yourself plenty of time. Don’t wait until the last minute.

I found this technique very helpful, I eve used it while writing this blog. I would 100% recommend this technique because it really helps your brain feel and stay fresh.

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