18 Use the Pomodoro Method to Get Started

A key aspect of overcoming procrastination is developing strategies to get started. Often, committing to complete one small task can be enough to begin moving ahead.  For example, just taking out your laptop, creating a document, and typing the title can create some forward momentum.

A well-known technique for managing time that can help with procrastination is called the Pomodoro Technique. This technique is a method of managing procrastination by breaking down your work periods into small, manageable units. This video explains how the Pomodoro technique can work for you. After watching the video, you’ll test your new knowledge with a short quiz.



Video Transcript

Welcome back. Let’s pick up where we left off. You had made a commitment to make one small change and had written it down with a date to make your goal timely. Good for you!

Now I would like to share a technique that has worked for me.

Have you ever heard of the Pomodoro Technique? Take a look at this cute little kitchen timer. How could something like this help you?

The technique has been around for a while and I have used it to help in a critical point in my studies. I was completing an individual studies project. Those of you who have taken a course like this will know that it is like a distance education course with very little structure and limited support from a professor. It is the perfect kind of course to go and explore new ideas but it is also a course that takes a lot of self-directed effort and procrastination can lead to failure. Unfortunately, I was going down that failure road. So I applied all my learning strategies and nothing that I had learned to that point really helped me. I knew why I was procrastinating. I knew that I should divide my tasks into chunks. I had talked it over with my mentors. But still the procrastination continued. I wanted a change.

The pomodoro (or tomato) description was used because the inventor of this technique (Francesco Cirillo) first used his mother’s kitchen timer, which looked like a pretty red tomato, to set aside chunks of time to work with focus on one part of a task. This gets to the basics of dealing with the procrastination monster, divide your task into small chunks, baby steps, and work to complete the steps.

A word of warning… Do NOT use your phone to time you. What will probably happen is that you will get distracted from your work and start using social media or Youtube. Technology can be our friend, but if you have a big problem with procrastination, you must put your phone down and concentrate on your task.

So in a nutshell here is the technique that saved my degree and allowed me to be here, at KPU serving you.


Step One: Choose the task

Step Two: Set the timer for 25 minutes- no interruptions are allowed! Turn off your phone

Step Three: Work until the timer rings- put a check mark on the paper

Step Four: Take a short break

Step Five: Do up to 4 pomodoros and then take a longer break.


So give it a try…because it may work well for you and save you from a lot of problems. Of course if you want more structured help, please come to see me or one of our other learning strategists. We can help you pull all of this information together.

We welcome all feedback, so if you can answer a few questions, it will help us to serve you better.

Good luck and I’ll see you soon in the KPU Learning Centre.


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Time Management for Busy Students Copyright © 2018 by Kwantlen Polytechnic University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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