Pomodoro Technique’ (Muscaro, 2010).

So, here’s the situation; you’re:

  1. still experiencing the effects of a once in a century global pandemic;
  2. having to negotiate ever shifting and occasionally contradictory or confusing bureaucratic and social rules
  3. expected to produce a masters research project and to meet a deadline. 

Fun times these have not been. Nonetheless, the Skills@Library and Research Support team continue to provide as comprehensive a level of support as we can. Part of the support includes virtual Shut Up and Write! sessions. Based on the pomodoro technique of 25 minutes focussed work slots, followed by 5 minutes breaks, these 3 hour long sessions provide an online space in which to share experiences with fellow taught and research postgraduate and staff, and engage in highly focussed study periods.  

With so many wider concerns and distractions taking place, the online version of Shut Up and Write! sessions have proven extremely popular since lockdown began back in March 2020. For many (all?) of us, it can be hard to concentrate and focus on tasks at hand. These sessions provide structure, motivation and a community in which to undertake tasks that you may be procrastinating or avoiding. 

Sessions take place once a week throughout most of the year via Minerva (Blackboard Collaborate), and are structured as per the below:  

0:00   Welcome and social time 

0:10   Share writing goals 

0:15   First 25 minutes writing 

0:40   Silent break 

0:45   Second 25 minutes writing  

1:10   Social break 

1:20   Third 25 minutes writing 

1:45   Silent break 

1:50   Fourth 25 minutes writing  

2:15   Individual goal setting, next steps and social break (10 mins) 

2:25   Fifth 25 minutes optional writing 

2:50   Session ends 

So, do take a look at the calendar of upcoming sessions, and sign-up to join as few, or as many, as you’d like. There’s nothing you have to prepare asides from setting a study goal for each session.  

If you’re like me and sceptical about how much you can get done in 25 minutes, or worried about having to stop at the 25 minute mark when you’re in the flow, I’d encourage you to give a session a try; you may be surprised at just how much you get done. I know I was after my first Shut Up and Write! experience!  

Here’s hoping to see you soon at an upcoming Shut Up and Write!  

Best of luck!


Muscaro, L. 2010. ‘Pomodoro Technique’. [Online]. [Accessed 31 August 2021]. Available from: http://www.flickr.com