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Category: Nicole Pinera

“Think Like a Tomato: A Guide to the Pomodoro Method” by Nicole Pinera

We thrive on the ping of new notifications, two paragraph long summaries of three-hundred page novels, and fifteen second video clips… and it is killing our productivity. When it’s time to sit down and study or write that final essay that’s been hanging over your head all semester, it can be hard not to start mindlessly scrolling through your phone. I’ve found a technique that helps me focus and get work done. Especially as UD Honors students, who typically have too many commitments and just not enough hours in the day for every one of them, being productive and focusing on the task at hand is a lifesaver.

For anyone who knows a little bit of Italian (disclaimer: I don’t, I used Google Translate), you’ll know that “pomodoro” translates to “tomato.” If you don’t get how a tomato can help you do your homework, don’t worry; there’s a fun backstory to this simple but effective productivity method. A college student named Francesco Cirillo used a tomato-shaped kitchen timer to break his work up into 25 minute blocks, followed by a short break. The concept, originally devised in the 1980s, stuck, and this widely popularized technique is known as the Pomodoro Method today. Continue reading

“Finding Balance: A Few Tips From a Freshman” by Nicole Pinera

It’s 8 o’clock on a Monday morning, and the air carries the crispness of the impending autumn, even though it’ll be much warmer in a few hours—summer hasn’t quite given up the fight yet. I’m on my way to Caesar Rodney to get some breakfast, a much-needed cup of coffee, and a bit of work done before my first class, which doesn’t start for another hour or so.

It’s a Friday night, and I’m with my friend, watching old episodes of Spongebob Squarepants on a little TV in her dorm room in Redding. We talk and laugh and quote all the lines we know by heart—after all, we grew up watching this cartoon. There’s a container of peanut M&Ms open to snack on, and my favorite fuzzy blanket is wrapped around me like a shawl. In this moment, our worries about grades and upcoming exams fade away, just for a little while. Continue reading

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