If you are like me, then you struggle A LOT to focus on one thing at a time. This is exactly why the Pomodoro Technique will be perfect for you. I don’t consider myself the best student, not even in the top of my class but I also don’t believe in comparing people, I’m more of a “everyone has different skillsets”, and “everyone can learn whatever they want if they put enough effort” kind of guy. Anyway, I’m already getting off topic (just proving the point that I get distracted easily).
Studying is something that comes in different forms and sizes, some of us just do final exams, some others do home exams and some other do projects and presentations. At the end, everyone puts effort and time into preparing either for the exams or into a project; so, I believe that every student or/and prospective student will find the Pomodoro Technique very useful.
Let me tell you a little bit more about this technique. The Pomodoro Technique is a time-management method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s, where the idea is to use a timer to break down a task into work intervals separated by short breaks, that is essentially what it is. Now, to do it properly there are some objectives to accomplish.
Credits: Simon Paulin/imagebank.sweden.se
The first thing is to find out is what is the task to be performed; it can be very simple like answering emails, to something complex like working on your master’s thesis. It really doesn’t matter what is the task, what matters is that it’s something that deserves your full, undivided attention.
Set your timer to 25 minutes (some people do it with 30 minutes, even 35 minutes), define what you want to accomplish, and start working. The important part here is focusing in your goal without getting distracted, whether it’s a friend calling you for a beer, a Instagram notification, or the sudden need to watch videos about cats in costumes (been there, done that), many distracting thoughts and events come up when you’re at work.
This one is pretty much straight forward. Work EXCLUSIVELY in your task until the time runs out. Spend some time doing a pre-study, or a recap and some time to do a review of the work you’ve done.
Once the pomodoro ends, write a checkmark in a notebook, or a piece of paper to keep track of the time you spent on a specific task. This will help you to calculate in the future the amount of time that it takes to finish the task in question, and at the same time it will be easier to keep track of the time dedicated exclusively to work.
Grab a coffee, stretch your legs, go for a short walk or whatever you want to clear your mind. The idea of the pomodoro technique is to work in cycles, and between each cycle take a short break of 4-6 minutes. Your brain will thank you later.
After 4 pomodoros the idea is to take a longer break (I like to go outside and walk for a while), 20-30 minutes is perfect for your brain to assimilate the newly acquired information and to have time to rest for the next cycle of pomodoros.
So far it has worked for me, even though sometimes is hard not to get distracted. Let me know what you guys think about this technique in the comments.