This time on Wikipedia Trails I started with the Pomodoro Technique. I wrote about it earlier this week for my Learning by HEART post, and I’m using it right now, so it felt like a good place to begin. One the wiki page there was a mention of the different Software Applications that have been created for this technique. Since that’s what I’m using now, I figured I’d go for it!
One I got to the Apps wiki page I was skimming it (it’s really long!) and I saw a reference to video games. I happen to really love video games – I’m fighting the urge to break one out now, but I have to finish my homework – so I followed it down the rabbit hole.
The Video Game page had a link to the Nintendo wiki page, which had a link to the Legend of Zelda page. Technically I was only supposed to visit 4 pages for this but I like to think of it as passion for the assignment instead of not following instructions.
The Legend of Zelda video games are my favorite; They’re what I grew up playing. Ocarina of Time was even the first video game I ever played, so I was really excited to end up here at the end of my Wikipedia Trail. Now I just have to convince myself to stop reading Zelda trivia and get back to my homework!
Image: Link from The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Source: Wikipedia.
Nothing, what the motto with you? (Lion King reference, Ladies and Gentlemen)
I chose to make this motto into a Growth Mindset picture thingy because I think that people who put things off until tomorrow are never going to get anything done. New Years Eve is my favorite holiday because I love the idea of everyone getting a fresh start, but New Years resolutions are a pet peeve of mine. If you want to change something, it needs to be now. If you have to wait until New Years, or Lent, or any other event to happen, then you don’t really want to make the change. Why put off till tomorrow what you could do today?
As I was wondering through the extra credit assignments of Mythology and Folklore, I stumbled across a learning challenge for the Pomordoro Technique, which I had never heard of. But you know what I have heard of? The Tomato Timer! I have an app for it that I use when I really need to get work done. I’m actually using it right now! (Just took my five minute break!)
The basic idea behind the Pomodoro Technique is that you set a timer (or press go on the app. I use Be Focused from the Apple app store) for 25 minutes and you work without interruption for that time. 25 minutes isn’t that long, so it’s easy to do, and any distractions or thoughts that pop up can easily be set aside for the rest of the interval. Then, when your timer goes off, you take a short 5 minute break to do anything except what you were just working on. Then you just rinse and repeat. After ever four intervals, you take a long break – 25 to 30 minutes.
One the most simple level, this technique is supposed to break down whatever you need to work on into smaller manageable chunks, as well as help eliminate distractions from your workplace. I’ve used it irregularly for over a year now, and I firmly believe that when I do use it, I become much more efficient. But it does have drawbacks. For example, if I’m cramming in a little studying between classes, there’s not really enough time to effectively use my tomato timer. I normally only use it for longer homework sessions in the evenings or on weekends. Also, it’s only as good as your own accountability. If you don’t keep setting it and switing when you’re supposed to, then there’s really not point in using it. I find that I will often work through my breaks when I get on a roll, which is both good and bad. Regardless, I’ll keep on using the Pomodoro Technique as long as it keeps working for me!
Image: Pomodoro Technique by Luca Mascaro. Source: Flickr
For those of you wondering, yes the title of this post is a reference to a song by The Secret Sisters from the first Hunger Games soundtrack. Deal with it!
Why would I start with that you ask? Because that is something I tell myself every week. Next week will be better. And I somehow expect it to magically be true, when the only reliable way for next week to be better is if I change my behavior or change my attitude. So here I am, in front of the whole internet, promising to do so. I don’t want any more weeks where I watch work pile up (seriously, I have a mountain range to rival the Rockies) while I do absolutely nothing about it. That’s just plain unacceptable!
So next week will be better because I have decided to make it better. How will I do that? Well I’m glad you asked! First and foremost, I need to fix my on-again, off-again relationship with my planner. The two of us need to work it out. So I will be working on that tonight. Additionally, this weekend will be dedicated to homework. I plan to conquer those mountains I mentioned earlier, and maybe even get a little head start on next weeks work. Although, honestly, that may be too ambitious. Keeping realistic goals is one of the keys to success. But this is a great weekend to work on everything because it’s OU/Texas weekend! That means that all my friends left Norman to go home or go to the game, and I can work all weekend without distraction (because there’s no way I’m watching the game! Let’s be real – I hate football). Not that it’s my friends’ fault that they are distracting. I am definitely the one who choose to be distracted 100% of the time. But not anymore!
Image: The Hunger Games by Kendra Miller. Source: Flickr
Looking Back: To be quite honest, this semester hasnt’t been going as good at it should be. I’ve been mostly coasting in all of my classes, and it hasn’t come back to haunt me yet, but I know it could. I know I can do better, but without the looming fear of failure to motivate me, I’m having a hard time getting things done. But every day is a new day and a new opportunity to act differently. The only problem I really have with my weekly routine is sticking to it, so I’ll be working on that from here on out. I don’t have a problem getting the reading assignments done, but I’m not sure if that’s because they’re at the beginning of the week or if it’s because I love reading. Regardless, I need to apply myself more to the end of week assignments and start doing some more extra credit each week to catch up.
Looking Forward: I think that for the second half of the semester, I need to focus more on myself, which probably sounds a little weird. But I know that recently I’ve been trying to have it all. Every college student has seen this triangle
I have been trying to do everything and it’s honestly a bad idea. I think I need to take some time for myself and refocus before I go back out there and try to balance all three of these things again. Luckily for me, it’s fall break; that’s always an excellent time for some much needed R&R.
Image: The Road Less Traveled by Donna Smith. Source: Flickr
Feedback in: I think a lot of the comments I’ve have been receiving this semester have been very nice and well thought out, but honestly I would prefer more criticism. I don’t exactly have the highest opinion of my own writing (I don’t think I’m horrible, but I’m also trying to avoid hubris). I think my writing style and tone is often too elaborate, so the most helpful comments are the ones that address that, in a positive or negative way.
Feedback out: I definitely think my commenting needs to improve. Despite the fact that I say others are being too nice, I find myself falling into that trap a lot. I want to let them know that their work is good and that I enjoyed it so much that I’ll emphasize that over anything I think they can improve. I also haven’t been getting much practice, so that’s a problem.
Blog Comments: I’m happy with my space, and I feel like I am getting a taste of different people’s personalities through the comments they leave. I’m also really glad that I included my shot glass collection, because most people seem to find it pretty interesting.
Looking forward: I won’t be making any changes to my blog, but I do need to make a change with my feedback and commenting. Namely, I need to start doing it much more consistently. The cat in the picture says to study hard and then take a break, but I’ve been having problems with too many breaks and not enough studying, so fixing that is a place to start. I also know how nice it is to have people reading my blog, and I want other people to have that experience as well.
We’re halfway through the semester and I think it’s safe to say that I am enjoying this class. The reading is really nice, especially since , for the most part, I get to pick what I do each week. The writing is also pretty cool, but I’m finding it difficult to keep up. I’ve been getting a little behind, mostly because of a lack of accountability and self motivation on my part, so thats something I’ll be working on during the second half of the summer. Another thing I need to improve on is doing my assignments ahead of time instead of waiting until the last second. But I guess that goes back to the accountability and motivation problems.
The image on this post actually is from another post for this class where I discussed ideas for my project. I think it fits really well for a post about looking back and moving forward. Hindsight is 20/20. Moving forward, it is difficult to see where you’ll end up, but the possibilities are practically endless, and I feel like this picture really expresses that.
As I said earlier, I need to work on my motivation and accountability, but I think one of the reasons that I am struggling with these, in relation to the weekly writing, is that I don’t always feel connected to the stories or have a really good idea of what to write about. So Ithink in the future I need to view that less as a deterrent and more as a challenge. A really good writer can write about anything, even if she doesn’t have a great idea or even maybe doesn’t want to.
Image: Stock photo of “Independent Woman.” Source: Pixabay