Learning How to Learn

I started a new Coursera course today: Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects.

The instructor mentioned a Website, BrainFacts.org, that looks interesting, so I thought I would post the URL.

In the course, the instructor mentioned the Pomodoro Technique for overcoming procrastination. This name was new to me, but the technique is virtually identical to the Kimmy strategy I mentioned in one of my previous articles: Hollywood Strategies to Avoid Procrastination.

Essentially, the Kimmy Strategy and Pomodoro Technique suggest to just start doing the thing you dread and continue to do it for a short time. Kimmy says she can do anything for 10 seconds, but I suggested to just complete something, anything, then take a break. The Pomodoro Technique suggests you set a timer for 25 minutes and force yourself to work until it dings.

According to the instructor, procrastination activates the areas of your brain associated with pain. This is the reason procrastination is so hard to overcome. However, she also said that researchers have discovered that this neuro-discomfort only lasts for a very short time. Once you force yourself to start the job, you are likely to stick to it.

I don’t know if any research has been done to prove it, but it seems logical to think that the more often one performs the Pomodoro/Kimmy, the easier it is to do it again. So, just starting is kind of a double whammy in the plus column. You not only make progress on the current task, but you also make it easier to make progress on future tasks.

See you next time…