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Student Productivity 103: 5 Easy Steps to Help Online Students Learn Using the Pomodoro Method. You're going to love #4.

09 Sep

Student Productivity 103: 5 Easy Steps to Help Online Students Learn Using the Pomodoro Method. You're going to love #4.

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Feb 27, 2014 6:00:00 AM


A lot of students, whether in the classroom or utilizing online personalized school lessons, can have trouble staying on task while studying or doing homework. Whether your child is learning at home or at school, you want him/her to make the most of their work time. That's where the Pomodoro technique comes into play.

Pomodoro is not the name of some famous philosopher or educator. Oh no... the inspiration behind this highly effective learning strategy comes from a tomato-shaped kitchen timer that was used by the its creator, Francesco Cirillo, in 1994 while he was attending college.

In short, this is what you can take away from the Pomodoro method:

1. Make a to-do list

The student should go through his/her task manager or day planner and decide which tasks he/she wants to complete. If the student is not using concrete storage to organize the list (planner, notebook), he/she should grab a piece a paper and write each task down, starting with the most important task first. Prioritizing the most important tasks and allows the student to tackle them first. David Allen, in his best-seller Getting Things Donecalls these tasks your GTDs - the "must-dos" for the day. You need need 2-3 and if they are large, they can be broken down into smaller pieces.

2. Set the timer to 25 minutes

The student can use an egg-timer, stopwatch, or smartphone to set the time to 25 minutes. No more and no less. Try out different timers to see which one works best for you.

3. Work until you run out of time

Once the timer starts, it's time to start cracking on one of those predefined tasks. It is important to remember to remind the student not to focus on the timer; instead, allow them to get lost in their academic endeavors. Students should only work on one task during this time as there are no other tasks allowed during each Pomodoro.

Once the timer rings, the student can stop immediately, even if they think they just need a few more minutes. They can just stop and move all unfinished work to the next Pomodoro. If they finish a task before the deadline, don't worry, but they shouldn't stop and shouldn't move on to the next task. They should review the completed work until the timer runs out.

4. Take a 5-minute break

It has been proven by science that taking small breaks are good when working. These five minutes gives students time for their brain to recharge, especially if they are one of the many people who have a short attention span. Feel free to refill a drink, run to the bathroom, or get in a good stretch. Once the five minutes is up, they can reset the timer and either begin a new task or continue on a previous task.

5. For every four Pomodoros, take a longer break

For every four Pomodoros the student needs to take a longer break. The first four Pomodoros should take 2 hours 4 x (25+5), but after the fourth one the student should take a longer break. After two hours it might seem like a good idea to get something to eat or change your environment. This will help them gain a different perspective on tasks when they return to work.

The Beauty Behind the Technique

The beauty behind the Pomodoro method: it is simple, straightforward, and anyone can use it. It as common and simple as an everyday egg-timer. It can help students attending an online personalized school tackle any task in a strategic and stress-free manner. Students can apply these 5 simple steps to their online personalized school lessons and quickly will see an improvement in work speed and comprehension.