Posted in Intern advice

Have a Break, Have a KitKat

 

(other chocolate bars are available)

break.jpg

Perhaps one of the most well used study tips is ‘take a break’ but if you’re anything like me, you probably just ignore it. How can you be more productive if you take a break? You are wasting time by taking a break and hence not doing quite as much work… this seems obvious.

Last year the message in the ‘Beating Procrastination’ workshop I attended at 301 was to take breaks. Alice is one of our new Reception staff at 301 and she made a revision timetable template that has ‘take a break’ in some of the time slots so I decided to try it. After all I am the queen of procrastination and have A LOT of work to catch up on.

I dug out my notes from the procrastination workshop and used the ‘pomadoro’ technique. http://tomato-timer.com/ has a timer set for 25 minutes to work and then 5 or 10 minute breaks.

BREAKING NEWS: It actually works. I have been more productive in the last week than I have all year. 25 minutes isn’t too long to keep your focus for and so you focus for much longer than you ordinarily would without breaks.

In the breaks I did the tings I would normally do to procrastinate e.g. tidy my room, clear out my wardrobe, put pizza in the oven etc. Just for the record frozen pizza normally takes around 22-25 minutes to cook so it is the perfect food to slot in between your revision and breaks. On the same note, I recommend keeping a lot of snacks close by. Really helps keep you focused. Also if things came up in my head that I needed to do e.g. applications, send emails etc I could easily wait until the time was up and do it in the break.

I managed to read 3 chapters of my textbook and make notes for a seminar in one day using this technique. My bedroom is now also really tidy incase you were wondering.

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Author:

We are 301 Student Skills and Development Centre and we give academic skills advice to our students at the University of Sheffield. We offer workshops and 1:1 appointments.

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