Pomodoro technique for studying efficiently!? But wait, what is this pomodoro technique? And does it really work? Will it make me the next topper?
I know you must be having all these kind of questions by reading the title of this post. Don’t worry, I am going to answer all of these questions in this post and explain how and why you should follow the Pomodoro technique for studying efficiently.
What is the Pomodoro technique?
Well, it’s basically a time-management technique which helps you to concentrate on your work for a long time, work efficiently and get some relaxing time in between your work too, which is I guess important too especially if you’re on your computer/mobile for your work. And if you want to know the extent of its popularity, let me tell you that many CEOs like Shama Hyder, founder and CEO of Zen Media; Kat Cohen, founder and CEO of IvyWise use this technique in their everyday work.
And, as you may have guessed it, this technique can be used for studying also. It works just as fine!
So, how do you do it? Well, there is one orthodox way of this method which I’ll be explaining below but you can surely change it according to your needs. So here’s the most popular form of this technique –
- You start studying or working on some project of yours for 25 minutes. And you keep your phone away the whole time so that you don’t get distracted. And you make sure that you’re only doing 1 task at this time. This period of work is called one Pomodoro.
- After this 25-minute mark, you completely drop your work no matter how much you’ve done. You enjoy a 5-minute break to give your brain and body some kind of rest.
- After this first Pomodoro, you again start studying or working for 25 minutes and then take a 5-minute break.
- After you complete this cycle 4 times, you take a longer break, usually 20-30 minutes.
- After this long break, you again return to the 25-5 cycle.
Now you can make some slight variations in this technique. For example, if your concentration power is good, you can study directly for 50 minutes or 45 minutes and then take a 10-15 minute break altogether. Or if you can sit and study for 2 hours straight or even more, you can take a 30-45 minute break altogether too. You see, it depends from person to person.
Pomodoro technique for studying efficiently: Why does it work?
Till here, we know that what is this pomodoro technique and how it works. But now let’s see why exactly this technique works!
- The rest period between your study/wok time will cut distractions and stress, and will satisfy your urge for fun or relaxing time – After that 25 minute intense fully focused session, most of the people get the urge to check their phone or just get some rest due to burnout. And this technique gives you ample amount of time to do all your rest, ‘check your notifications’ thing or some other fun or relaxing things like listening to a song. And once you do that, you will feel very refreshed and stress-free. Then again, you can revert back to your study or work since you will have no notifications on your phone, so no distraction. And as you would have already done your ‘fun’ thing, you will have no other option other than returning to your work/studies. If you want more proof here is one study which proves that short breaks can help your attention levels stay on the track.
- During work time, you are totally focused – OK, so there are two things here.
- During your work period, you know that after the timer ends, you’ll have a break. So you’ll have a sense of urgency to do work. And therefore, you’ll maximise your focus or output during the working period. It’s like the school system. If your teacher has given you some test and you are told to complete it before the period ends, you will definitely maximise your focus and output during the period.
- Moreover, as I told you, that you have to keep your working minutes as long as you can give your entire focus to your work. So obviously, you’ll give your 100% focus during this period. And then after a break, you’ll again do the same since this break will do the things for you I talked in my previous point. If you weren’t following this technique, you would have studied for X amount of minutes/hours with your full focus but after that also, if you continue studying, you’ll rarely remember what you had studied the next day as you wouldn’t have studied as focused as during your X minutes. And you would have piled up huge amount of stress too on top of that!
- The break acts as a reward – Everyone loves rewards right? Well, what is ‘reward’ in our daily busy lives? For most of us, it’s the time where we can relax, have no-stress and just be free from all the work and studies. So when we have breaks in this technique, we feel very motivated to have them as we seek them as reward. And from years of research, psychologists have found out that the lesser the time between your rewards, the stronger the urge to complete any activity between these rewards and then finally gain them. Basically, with using this technique, you’re training yourself to stay away from boredom, cut out distractions during your work and stay 100% concentrated towards your studies or work. Always.
- You eliminate multitasking – But why am I suddenly talking about multitasking here? Because, it is bad! It cuts down your productivity a lot. Especially when you’re multitasking things which are very different from one another or are very complex and require good amount of attention to be carried out efficiently. Here is an article which explains why multitasking is bad. One of the key reasons is that, according to this study from UC Irvine, it takes you around 23 minutes 15 seconds to switch your 100% focus from one task to another complex task. Almost one pomodoro!! And multitasking is one of those things resisted with the help of this technique. As I said earlier, when you are in your pomodoro, you are dedicated to a single task alone which can significantly increase your focus and output to that task, so you’re basically preventing multitasking.
Ok now you know that how and why you should follow the Pomodoro technique for studying efficiently. But you see, one may make many changes to this technique to make it suitable to their time and ability to focus. For example – If your ability to focus continuously is low, you can follow a pattern like this. Study/work for 10 minutes and take a break of 2 minutes. Just make sure that in an hour, you work at least 45 minutes and take a maximum break of 15 minutes.
And one question that might be popping into some of the readers may be that will this work for them?
Apparently, the answer to this question lies with the one asking. Are you a kind of person who gets distracted easily and is not able to maintain his/her focus for a long time or just can’t sit for 2-3 hour study session straight? If that’s the case, then I would highly recommend you to start this technique ASAP. Or you are type of person who’s able to sustain his/her concentration on books for a long time but still often uses mobile phone in between your study time. If you’re like this I would still recommend you to follow this technique.
See, to really find out if you gel with this technique, you’ve got to try it first. So, I would say that no matter what kind of study routine you have, if you think that this technique is worth going for, then definitely try it. After you experience it yourself, you can decide for yourself whether this Pomodoro technique is made for you or not.
Some people may have this question too, “I already have a study routine that suits me and fits me well, do I still need to do this Pomodoro thing?”
Well, if you’re getting the results from your current study routine and it fits you well, then why change it? But if you really want to experience this technique, no one in this world can stop you from doing it. Maybe, you will find this technique more useful.
So as I said earlier, at least give this technique a try first. And then decide for yourself!