The simple technique that will help you overcome procrastination

After teaching English to adults for six years, I’ve noticed that one of the biggest obstacles to English fluency is procrastination. The phrase I hear most often at the beginning of my lessons is “I’m sorry, I didn’t have time to do the homework.” That’s just another way to say, “I didn’t feel like doing it.” The truth is, there’s always time because it’s all about how we manage our time and what we prioritize. I’ve taught several female students who work full time jobs, come home, cook for their families, and still find time to learn English. Simply put, the phrase “I didn’t have time” is just an excuse. So how do we overcome what the Germans call Schweinehund (literally means ‘pig dog’ and refers to our inner couch potato)?

Here’s a simple technique that I’ve implemented into my own life that I know can help you too. It’s called the Pomodoro Technique. Pomodoro means tomato in Italian and it refers to a tomato shaped timer that Francesco Cirillo (the creator of this technique) used, like the one below.

  • First, eliminate all distractions around you. Turn off your phone, TV, music and anything else that might distract you. Then look for a quiet place to work.
  • Secondly, set a timer to 25 minutes.
  • Thirdly, focus and get to work.
  • At the end of the 25 minutes, reward yourself. This can be by listening to your favorite song, chatting with a friend on WhatsApp, or standing up and stretching. After 5-10 minutes, repeat the process.

Even with the best motivation, best material and most qualified teacher, if you don’t develop a learning routine you won’t reach your goals as quickly as you would like.

If you would like to have more details about how this technique works, leave a comment in the comments section below.

And if you are ready to say goodbye to your Schweinehund, then contact me to set up the first appointment. 

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