Ketchup on your time

Time management is a vital skill for studying at university, with students expected to organise much of their learning independently with minimal support from tutors.

Students eligible for DSA can get specialist support with this if they have particular difficulties keeping on top of their workload due to specific learning difficulties or mental health difficulties, but the humble tomato can also help organise your time, you be more efficient in your studies and help you concentrate and focus for longer…

The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s based around using a timer to break work down into a series of short intervals (traditionally 25 minutes each and known as pomodoros), separated by short breaks of a few minutes each. After four pomodoros, you then take a longer break of about 30 minutes.

What this process can be great for is breaking down big or overwhelming tasks into much smaller chunks to work on. This can help get started on tasks and by allowing for regular breaks, help you to keep working for longer. It also gives a great sense of achievement because you can see how many intervals you’ve completed, while also helping estimate how long tasks should take based on how many intervals have been needed in the past.

So, why not give it a try – all you need to get started is a task and a timer, though you might want to use one of the many apps or websites to set up your pomodoros and breaks – the TomatoTimer website is a good place to start.

And how do tomatoes fit into this? Pomodoro is Italian for tomato and the name came from originally using a tomato-shaped kitchen timer to time the intervals.

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