We’re going to change things up a bit here at SGap. Instead of presenting our weekly endorsements on Friday afternoon, we’re going to shoot for Mondays instead. There are other changes to the blog on the way too, so stay tuned. But in the mean time, here’s what three of us have been enjoying recently.
Some of us are still trying to finish our dissertations. That makes graduation season really anti-climactic – or worse, yet another excuse to succumb to crippling writer’s block. For those of us facing the unique blend of urgency and paralysis that is the PhD candidacy, there’s Pomodoro. Schemed up in the first place by a student trying to improve his study habits, the Pomodoro Technique is a strategy for cutting work time into discreet, bite-sized units – effective especially for large, unruly projects like a dissertation. The technique is named after the tomato-shaped kitchen timer that Francesco Cirillo first used to compel himself to work nonstop in 25 minute stretches (each stretch is called a “Pomodoro”), punctuated by 5 minute breaks. Work hard and without distraction for 25 minutes – that’s one Pomodoro – and you’ll feel enough sense of accomplishment to enjoy that quick break, the thinking goes. Stack three or four Pomodoros in a row, and you’ve now put in close to two solid hours of work. Something about setting the timer – the ticking, the watching the minutes disappear – can serve as a powerful motivator. If you don’t have an old-fashioned timer at home (but those are the best, aren’t they?) there are now apps and basic websites where you can set your Pomodoro timer virtually. Here’s to finishing that thesis (or novel, or any other daunting project) twenty-five minutes at a time. Continue reading