Work Smarter not Harder


What is it about middle schoolers, or kids in general that seem to avoid sitting down and getting work done at all costs?  The recent focus on Fortnite and the distractions of technology and social media seem to be a constant challenge for students. We’ve tried different time management methods, but the Pomodoro Technique is my favorite, both personally and for our students.

The Pomodoro Technique has been around since the late 80s, when Francesco Cirillo developed the method as a student. It is a time management technique that uses a timer to break down work into short intervals separated by short breaks.  The first step with the Pomodoro Technique is to set a goal for what you want to accomplish. For most students it’s homework. Once your goal is set, you then set the timer for 25 minutes, take a break for 5 minutes, and repeat until the work is done.

Let’s break it down here:

  1. Choose a goal to be accomplished.
  2. Set the Pomodoro to 25 minutes.
  3. Work on the task until the Pomodoro rings, then put a check in your planner.
  4. Take a short break (5 minutes is OK).

Here’s the catch, those 25 minutes need to be distraction free. Phones need to be put away, put on airplane mode, or set with an app like flipd or forest, which I’ll talk about in another post. The idea is that you train your brain to stay focused for short periods of time, kind of like interval training for your brain.  It takes some practice, but over time you’ll see increased motivation, perseverance, and success accomplishing goals. This all results in more time for fun; play, sleep and exercise. It’s also great for practicing instruments, reading and longer projects.



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