February 8, 2021 at 2:41 pm #1227JLHanerParticipant
(Excerpt from the exciting 90-minute on-demand webinar: The Psychology of Passing the 2021 PMP® Exam: Secret Strategies That Almost NOBODY Knows About
How Colleen Used a Tomato to PA$$ the 2021 PMP® Exam
Where am I going to get the time to study for the PMP® exam?
An effective way of improving your study time is the Pomodoro (tomato) Technique.
The name Pomodoro is derived from the tomato shaped kitchen timer that Francesco Cirillo, the movement’s founder, used while perfecting the technique.
How powerful is the Pomodoro practice of counting your “tomatoes?”
When Time is Not on Your Side
Colleen is a single mom with two children in grade school. Until January 19, 2021 (her 29th birthday), she was the IT Support staff at her daughters’ school. Last October, she attended a local PMI® chapter meeting where I was the guest speaker: “What’s Changing in the New PMP® Exam?”
During the Q & A session, she asked, “How can I work full-time at home, home school two kids, and find time to study for the 2021 PMP® exam?”
My answer: “You gotta’ use the tomato technique!”
A Pomodoro Pact to Passing
The Pomodoro technique is the practice of choosing one task and making the small commitment of using a timer and spending 25 minutes completely focused on that one thing, followed by short breaks.
Here’s how the technique works:
1. Choose a task (Flash Cards, sample questions, reading the PMBOK® Guide, etc.) to be accomplished.
2. Set a timer for 25 minutes (preferably, a tomato timer).
3. Work on the task until the 25 minutes is up.
4. Take a short five minute break (this marks the completion of one “Pomodoro”).
5. Repeat steps 1 to 4.
6. After every four Pomodoros, take a longer break such as 15 – 20 minutes or more.
Colleen started small by resolving to accomplish one Pomodoro study session a day. She quickly found that adding a timed structure around her study process forced her to focus in a way she wasn’t previously capable.
Colleen began gradually upping her Pomodoro study sessions each week, seeking to optimize her PMP® exam preparation time. In one month she was able to have a steadfast commitment with her timer for 16 Pomodoros per week, which equates to seven totally focused study hours.
1-2-3 . . . GO
Eliminating all distractions and dedicating time to one single study task isn’t easy, and it takes practice. Colleen realized the only way to get past her procrastination was to stop complaining and give the tomato technique a try. Buy the timer and just do it.
For Colleen, she battled her own resistance to change by staying disciplined with her work/family tasks and sticking to a time commitment for her PMP® study time.
Does it Work?
The Pomodoro technique maximizes time and efficiency by blocking out a 25 minute interval to free yourself from interruption.
Thanks to this study technique, Colleen passed the PMP® exam on her 29th birthday. Then, she was promoted to District 49 Network Manager. Now, she has plenty of quality time to be with her two daughters . . . spending the money from her 20% pay raise.
Change your study habits. Change your life. Be a PMP®!
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