Tuesday, November 28, 2017
As you study for final exams, it is essential to develop a time management strategy that will help you minimize interruptions and maximize focus. Here are two popular methods: the Eisenhower Matrix and the Pomodoro Technique.
The Eisenhower Matrix stems from a quote attributed to Dwight D. Eisenhower: "I have two kinds of problems, the urgent and the important. The urgent are not important, and the important are never urgent." Using the Eisenhower decision principle, tasks are evaluated using the criteria important/unimportant and urgent/not urgent, and then placed in according quadrants:
- Important/Urgent quadrant are done immediately and personally, e.g. crises, deadlines, problems.
- Important/Not Urgent quadrant get an end date and are done personally, e.g. relationships, planning, recreation.
- Unimportant/Urgent quadrant are delegated, e.g. interruptions, meetings, activities.
- Unimportant/Not Urgent quadrant are dropped, e.g. time wasters, pleasant activities, trivia.
During exam periods, you should only allow “Level 1” tasks to interrupt designated study time.
If Eisenhower’s Matrix isn’t your thing, consider Pomodoro. Pomodoro requires you to identify the “topmost task” on your to do list. After identifying the task, set a timer for 25 minutes and work until the timer (a.k.a. “Pomodoro”) rings. Take a short break of 3-5 minutes and then get back to working, until the task is finished. After every four Pomodoros take a longer break of 15–30 minutes. For all the details, Download Pomodoro Cheat Sheet. (Kirsha Trychta)