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Tip 56: Learn a technique to stop multitasking

In this learning tip, I'd like to introduce you to a very simple technique which can help you to avoid multitasking and to make your learning efforts much more effective. Apart from using it for learning, you can also use it to get more things (better) done in your job: It's called the 'Pomodoro technique'.

The name 'Pomodoro technique' is based on the fact that its inventor '…' used a timer in the shape of a tomato to execute a unique and easy way to stay focussed on one task at a time - in this case on your learning target. This is how I recommend you to do it:

  • Set yourself a learning target that you would like to reach, e.g. 'Learn about the basics of Design Thinking'

  • Divide this big target into smaller sub-topics like 'The origins of Design Thinking', 'The principles of Design Thinking', 'The process of Design Thinking' and 'Application scenarios for Design Thinking'

  • Switch of any email notifications, close the door to your room, set up a sign saying 'Don't disrupt', put a pen and a paper on your desk and set yourself a timer for 25 minutes

  • Concentrate on learning about the first sub-topic 'The origins of Design Thinking' during these 25 minutes. Don't do anything else than just this! If an important task comes up that you need to do afterwards, quickly write it on the piece of paper and get back to your learning topic.

  • Once the timer rings, set it to 5 minutes and take a break. Don't use the break to do emails but take some fresh air on the balcony, get yourself a coffee etc.

  • After that, you take up the second topic 'The principles of Design Thinking' and set your timer for another 25 minutes, followed by a break of 5 minutes.

  • You repeat this process in total 4 times before taking a longer break of 30 minutes. I guarantee you that after two hours you will be amazed by how much you have learned in such a short time!

Which is the topic you'd like to learn about and when will you try the very simple but hugely effective 'Pomodoro technique'?

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