2-4 The Pomodoro Technique as Working Meditationدوره: Mindshift- Break Through Obstacles to Learning and Discover Your Hidden Potential / فصل: Getting Deeper into Happy Learning / درس 4
2-4 The Pomodoro Technique as Working Meditation
To do a pomodoro, just turn off all distractions, no little ringy dingies from our cell phones or computers and then set a timer for 25 minutes. A great approach is, if you're doing mental work, try to instead do some kind of movement during your breaks, something where your brain can relax and your mind can do some wandering. The pomodoro helps them to get started, but if they get into the flow, and are liking what they're doing, they won't necessarily quit at the end of the 25 minutes.
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متن انگلیسی درس
A common challenge to making a mindshift is something so simple we almost forget to think about it, procrastination. Of course, in our previous MOOC, Learning How to Learn, we already learned about how procrastination can arise. When you even think about something that you don’t really want to do, it activates the brain’s pain centers. The brain, naturally enough, tries to stop that negative stimulation, so it turns its attention to something else, anything else. The result? You feel better almost instantly. But you’ve also just procrastinated. We learned, as well, about, the Pomodoro Technique to help you tackle procrastination. Italian Francesco Cirillo devised this fiendishly clever method in the 1980s, and it’s spread around the world since then. To do a pomodoro, just turn off all distractions, no little ringy dingies from our cell phones or computers and then set a timer for 25 minutes. Then you hold your focus on your work as intently as you humanly can for those 25 minutes. We’re all human, and distracting thoughts will inevitably arise when we’re doing a pomodoro. For example, sometimes I’ll set the pomodoro timer for 25 minutes. Great, I’m all happy. And then 5 minutes into the pomodoro, I’ll look up and suddenly realize that I’ve got 20 whole minutes left to do. My mind goes, I just can’t do 20 more minutes! But what I do is I let that thought go right on by and then I return my focus to my learning or my work. If I catch myself absently checking my email, I gently stop as soon as I’ve realized what I’m doing. In fact, I’ll often close my email program, and other programs, just to make it a little harder to check them. None of us has perfectly obedient minds, thank goodness, which means it’s inevitable that distracting thoughts are going to arise. The thing is when you’re doing a pomodoro, you don’t want to try to push those thoughts away or tell yourself not to think those thoughts. Instead, you just want to acknowledge the distracting thought and let it go by as you return your attention to whatever you were focusing on. We’ve mentioned the first three components of the Pomodoro Technique, but there’s actually a fourth. Once you’re done with the pomodoro it’s reward time. You get to switch your attention for a while to whatever you want. You might listen to a favorite song, go to your favorite social media, watch a funny dance video, do a funny dance yourself, chat online with a friend. Or do something where you move around a little bit, straighten part of your room, walk to the kitchen to get some coffee or tea. The whole idea is to get your attention off whatever you’ve just been focusing on. In fact, you want to give the part of the brain you’ve just been using a bit of a break. This means the reward shouldn’t involve similar types of tasks. For instance, if you’ve been writing a report then you don’t want to go to Twitter or Facebook and continue writing, even if it’s about a different subject. That would be kind of like taking a break from lifting heavy barbells instead by lifting boxes of books. You’re still doing heavy lifting either way, which means you’re not getting much of a break. And at the end of the day you’ll find yourself getting much more tired. A great approach is, if you’re doing mental work, try to instead do some kind of movement during your breaks, something where your brain can relax and your mind can do some wandering. All of this is very important because in the past we’ve always thought that learning only took place when we were focusing our attention on something. But we now understand that an important part of learning takes place when we’re not focusing on something. In fact, to truly understand something we often need periods where we’ve switched our attention off the material we’re trying to understand, because that’s the time when we consolidate and make sense of the material. We’re not consciously aware of this process, which is why we often don’t realize how important this consolidation process is for learning, memory, and long-term creativity. We’ve heard from tens of thousands of learners in Learning How to Learn about how much they loved the Pomodoro Technique. People often ask, well, why 25 minutes? Remember that pain in the brain that pops up when we think about something we really didn’t want to do? It seems that when we decide to go ahead and work on that task despite the pain, that pain often lasts about 20 minutes. In other words, doing a pomodoro helps you just get past the pain and into the flow of the work. I do have to admit, if I really get going and into the flow, I don’t necessarily make myself stop at the end of a pomodoro session. I just keep going as long as it feels good, which, of course, is fine too. People often also wonder about how long the break should be between pomodoros. Well, this depends on you, and what you’ve got going on. Maybe it’s final examination time, or you’ve got a massively important presentation to prepare for. In this case, you may only want to have maybe 3 to 5 minutes between pomodoros. But if you’re not in such a crunch time, perhaps you can take 10 or 20 minutes. Some people set a pomodoro timer as a sort of, worst case I only have to do 25 minutes, sort of motivator. The pomodoro helps them to get started, but if they get into the flow, and are liking what they’re doing, they won’t necessarily quit at the end of the 25 minutes. You might also ask, how do I get myself restarted doing a pomodoro once I’ve taken a break? This also depends a lot on you. Everyone’s motivated differently. One motivator is to download an app onto your phone that gives you badges for each pomodoro you finish. People often enjoy collecting these badges each day, and you can set a goal for yourself, perhaps two pomodoros for work related to one topic, maybe three related to another, and so forth. There are also other motivators you can use. We’ll talk about them in the next video. And you’ll be learning a lot more about all of this in our Productivity MOOC. The Pomodoro Technique is, in reality, a powerful and actually enjoyable type of meditation through work. Smart learners make great use of this.
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