Trying to get more done faster? It’s tomato (timer) time!

Timer de Cozinha em forma de TomateWhich is the most productive fruit?

Well, it turns out to be any sort that’s made into a timer and set to 25 minutes.  Back in the 1980s, Franceso Cirillo discovered that working for 25 minutes before taking a 5 minute break and then working another 25 minute massively increased his concentration.  He used a mechanical tomato-shaped kitchen timer and named the technique he had developed the Pomodoro Technique, after the Italian for “tomato”.

Fast forward nearly 40 years and this technique is being praised as one of the most effective around, beating most modern productivity apps that clamour for your attention, giving the illusion of productivity while diverting your efforts into managing the app more than your work.  And yet, with the wonders of modern technology, there are now websites that offer the simplicity of the traditional tomato timer at the click of a button.

There is now an official Pomodoro Technique website.

Try the Pomodoro Technique for yourself

If you are not excited by the thought of buying a kitchen timer, any of the following websites will get you managing your time in no time.  Just pick one you like and away you go!


Image credit: “Timer de Cozinha em forma de Tomate” by mlpeixoto is licensed under CC BY 2.0


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Enter the Cafe

“Science may never come up with a better office communication system than the coffee break.”

~Earl Wilson
Reviewing a 'bullet journal' over coffeeDon’t miss the Library Café with its hot and cold drinks and snacks and its 24/7 vending machines, tucked around the corner where almost no-one can find them.  Not only is the area great for relaxing and chatting to mates but it is surrounded with the lastest and most popular journals and newspapers, so you can keep abreast of the latest finding and current affairs while you sip your morning (or evening) juice or coffee.
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JustisOne – your new one-stop shop for legal research

JustisOneAlongside HeinOnline, Lexis, and Westlaw, we are pleased to present our fourth and biggest yet law database: JustisOne.

The latest addition to our law databases is the largest yet. JustisOne offers a comprehensive one-stop research platform for law, comprising case law and reported series from over 25 jurisdictions and the EU, and allows you to search across all our other legal platforms (including Westlaw, Lexis, HeinOnline, and BAILLI) together with thousands of cases available nowhere else.

Find out more and learn how to get started with JustisOne with these guides written by law students and legal practitioners:

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More ways than ever to get referencing help

Referencing consultationThere are more ways to get help than ever before with referencing, from expert trouble-shooting of complex examples to setting out general principles.  We can’t proof-read your work or referencing, but we can help with just about everything else.

You can get help with referencing through:

If you have any comments or suggestions, please let us know  – we love to hear from you and build our service on student led change.

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Don’t be reserved about reserving books!

Everything renews itself forever

Two arrows forming a cycleAll the books you borrow from the University library renew themselves automatically. That means when the last copy of the book you want has been borrowed, you have a choice of looking to see if we have an ebook or reserve a printed copy.

So if you want to read something and all the copies are on loan, you really need to reserve a copy!

Reserving a book is easy: find the book using the Discovery Service or catalogue and click “Reserve”, enter the “library number” found on your student card and click “Reserve” a second time to confirm your reservation. A green confirmation box appears to confirm that your reservation has been placed.

When your reserved book becomes available for you to pick up, we will email your University email account. You can then pick it up at any time from the reservation shelves in the library atrium. Please issue your reserved books to yourself so we know you have them!

If you want a book that is on loan to someone else, you really want to reserve it! All books that you, or anyone else, borrow are renewed automatically until someone else reserves them.

Not only that, but…

Reserving books has two added benefits. If you reserve a book and there is an ebook version available that you had not noticed, we will email you a link to the ebook so you can carry on reading while you wait for the printed version to become available. Furthermore, if lots of people reserve the same book, we will order more copies!  Now, if that doesn’t motivate you to place more reservations, I don’t know what will.

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3 tips for surviving life, university and everything

Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult – once we truly understand and accept it – then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.

~ M. Scott Peck, Psychiatrist & author

SwanSee the world clearly

Comparing yourself to others is an easy path to misery.  Others appear like swans, gliding effortlessly through life, their frantically thrashing legs beneath the surface hidden from view.  Unable to see others’ cares and carefully concealed failings, it is easy to imagine we are the only ones who struggle to get through life. For the most part, others’ lives seem idyllic only because we do not know enough about them.

Set limits to work

The Duke of Wellington’s famously believed in “the work of the day, in the day”.  He set out what he intended to achieve each day and finished it.  He avoided setting out an endless list of tasks he could not finish.  He did not worry about tomorrow or let work expand to fill the time available, as it will always do if you let it (this effect is so well known that it has a name, the “Peterson Principle”).  He simply seized the day and got on with the most important things to hand, working as intensively as possible.  This approach saw him beat Napolean Bonepart and later be elected Prime Minister.  Clearly, this approach worked for him.

Buddha statue

Learn to accept

In life, many things cannot be changed.  We might work to influence some of them, object loudly to others, and even spend our lives dedicated fighting certain social causes but fighting the world is tiring.  As a matter of self-preservation, we have to pick our fights with care.  The Roman Stoic philosopher Seneca observed that we become angry whenever reality disappoints our expectations.  We expect our pen to not run out of ink, for our drink bottle not to leak, and for our favourite study space to be available whenever we want it.

Feeling frustration and upset when our expectations are not met wastes energy.  Eastern philosophers suggest that it might be more useful to ask of each upset life throws at us, “how can I use this?”  There is a lesson to learn in every mishap and problem encountered – either that there is a better way of carrying on or simply a reminder that accepting what happens to us and making the most of a bad situation we cannot change hurts us less than railing against things we cannot change.

Over to you

Try putting these three principles into practice: stop comparing yourself to other people, decide what to work on and focus on it without procrastinating, and accept the things you cannot change and adapt to make the most of the situations you find yourself in without frustration or regret.  Easier said than done, certainly, but any progress will reap dividends.

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Spring into action with our huge collection of Springer ebooks, exclusively available through the EBSCO Discovery Service.  Benefit from the top-rated scholarly ebook collection exclusively available through Discovery (this collection is not available through the Library catalogue).  Just type your search into the first search box on the Library search page and choose to see only “ebooks” on the left side of the screen for unfettered access to the world’s knowledge, delivered direct to your device.

Springer ebooks - uncover the Library's best kept secret

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Helping you to help yourself this assessment season

Laptop useWelcome to everyone just starting with us and welcome back to everyone else tuning back in as another set of assignment deadlines hoves into view in the middle distance.  Ahead of the examination and assessment period, we wanted to remind everyone about all the things we can offer to make your lives easier in the run-up to the end of year countdown.

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Come on over to Credo

Credo reference logoCredo Reference has a new look and feel, and is better than ever starting point for your assignment research.  Enter a word or short phrase and Credo will return the key concepts and show you a mind map suggesting associated terms you might want to click on and explore.  Each time you click on a new term, Credo will re-draw the mind map centred on that word, allowing you to explore terms you can use when you come to search the Discovery Service and other eresources.

Below the mindmap (or immediately if there isn’t one), Credo will even suggest potentially relevant articles from ejournal collections, newspapers and the BBC website.  While we always recommend that you search the Discovery Service or visit your subject pages on the Library website to find databases specific to your subject to search for more articles with a more precise search, the suggestions in Credo offer a great starting point to spot all the key terms and get a feel for the topic.
Credo reference interface
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Be the student led change you would like to see

Students chatting in the caféThe Library has been steered and shaped by generations of student-led change.  We love to listen now as much as ever to all your comments, suggestions, ideas and criticisms and draw inspiration from your insights and creativity.  While the feedback we received in the NSS from those students who are leaving us is important, we take just as much inspiration from suggestions from students in all years at desks, through the online suggestion box on the Library website or posted into the suggestions postbox.  You can submit suggestions anonymously and we will post our replies and what we can do in response online for all to see.  

Tell us what you would like to see and become the next wave of student led change you would like to see.

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