Summarize your chosen strategy and explain why you picked it.
I chose to implement the Pomodoro technique into my study habits. This technique involves the use of a timer, to break down time into intervals of work and break. I would work for 25 minutes, then the timer would go off, indicating that it is time for my break. And I will continue this work-break cycle until I get my work done. I chose the Pomodoro technique because I think that will help me fix my bad study habits. One problem with my studying is that I will give myself too long of a break. But hopefully, I will be able to fix this problem with the Pomodoro technique.
Explain how you will implement the strategy.
I happen to have a Pomodoro kitchen timer at home so I will be using that as my timer. After I get home from school, I will set the timer to a 15-minute break so I can grab a quick snack to eat. Then, it will be time for the 25-minute work period. The first portion of this 25 minutes will be used to plan out my study schedule for the night and finish a small piece of homework. Then, I will give myself a 5-minute break. I will repeat this cycle until it is time to make dinner. Dinner time is one of the large breaks that I will get in between my study times. After dinner, I will go through another 2 or 3 cycles of the Pomodoro technique. Then it will be time to go outside for some fresh air. A nice jog or walk around the neighborhood will allow me to exercise and relax my eyes. When I get home, I may or may not do another study session, depending on my school workload that day.
What is your end goal? How will you know the strategy works for you?
My end goal is definitely to become more productive with my time. I want to have a better study habit, which will increase the hours of sleep I get. First of all, I need to be able to follow the time intervals I set for myself. If I’m not able to focus during the 25 minutes where I’m supposed to work, then this strategy is not for me. On the contrary, if I’m able to focus and be productive during the time interval where I’m supposed to be studying, then this strategy is definitely good for me. If I am successful with the Pomodoro technique, then I should see an increase in my productivity. I shouldn’t have to work on schoolwork while I’m should be sleeping, which would be great. Additionally, the quality of my work should improve as well, since I should be more focused on the task at hand.
What are your critical moves?
The hardest part will be step 1. Which is getting started with studying. Once I get home, I tend to eat my snack, then fall down a rabbit hole of YouTube videos. My first critical move will be getting myself to start on my work. The first thing I do when I get home is to set up the timer. And hopefully, in 15 minutes, the obnoxious sound of the alarm will get me out of the couch, and into my desk chair. Once I am seated at my desk, I will be able to start working.
How will you shrink the change?
To get myself used to the Pomodoro technique, I will use it every other day. If I like it, then I will use the method more often. I will probably increase from 3 times a week, to 4 times a week, and eventually, I will be using this method every day. I will also increase the time intervals where I am studying. However, I don’t want to change the time length of my break. I will gradually increase the time of studying for 25 minutes, to 30 minutes, 40 minutes, and finally, 45 minutes. This should help me get used to using the Pomodoro technique and become more productive.
How will you tweak the environment?
The first step is getting rid of the biggest distractions I face when studying. That means turning off the notifications for my phone and putting it in another room. I will use my Ipad if I need to do any research. Since I did not install any apps that could potentially distract me (E.g. Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram), I am more likely to focus on my work. I will use my Pomodoro kitchen timer to time myself instead of my phone or Ipad. This may sound weird, but having a tomato time my study and break times is more effective than my phone timing me. Lastly, I will organize my work into 2 piles, a ‘to-do’ pile, and a ‘done’ pile. This will help me visually keep track of my work progress. Additionally, I will also be motivated as the ‘done’ pile grows larger. These steps should boost my productivity and work effectively with the Pomodoro technique.