A lot of people struggle with time; we race against the clock to complete various tasks and meet our deadlines. The Pomodoro technique is a time management tool that is perfect for procrastinators and perfectionists both.
It is a simple technique, with very simple steps but with outstanding results that give you a feeling of productivity that last your whole day. So where does the Pomodoro technique originate from? What are the steps to use it? And finally, how can you optimize it further?
The origin of the Pomodoro technique:
The Pomodoro technique was created by the Italian Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s due to being overwhelmed by his studies. He decided to commit to 10 minutes of focused work with rest in-between, which he later staked up to 25 minutes that completes a Pomodoro cycle. Encouraged by the results, he soon found a tomato (Pomodoro in Italian) shaped kitchen timer, and then The Pomodoro technique was born.
Cirillo went on to write a 130-page book about the method, explaining it thoroughly, but still, the biggest strength of the Pomodoro technique is in its simplicity that we’ll discover up next.
Using the Pomodoro technique and optimizing it for studying:
Getting used to the Pomodoro Technique
Here’s how the Pomodoro technique works:
Set yourself a 25-minute timer, and work on a task of your choosing until the timer rings. Take a 5 minute break and then reset the 25-minute timer again.
After doing this for four times, take a longer break (20-30 minutes). Then rinse and repeat.
Using the Pomodoro technique, you’ll notice from the very first day how different and much easier it is to concentrate and recall your studies using shorter spans of time than the usual cramming.
State clearly what it is that you want to achieve
Before starting the Pomodoro technique, you need to know exactly what do you want to complete in that 25 minutes of study.
The way to do that is by grabbing yourself a notebook and starting to make a list of tasks or materials that you need to go over this day, this week or this month.
Done? Now try breaking each task into much smaller steps, small enough that you’re able to complete them in 25 minutes.
All you have to do now is cross them off as you go on with your studies with the Pomodoro technique.
Create a workspace
It is also very important that you have a space dedicated specifically to studying. It should definitely not be your bed, but maybe your desk for example.
Using this space consistently when you want to complete your various tasks and studies will help you condition yourself to concentrate more easily and quickly on the studies’ materials at hand .
You can call it the “Studies’ Switch”.
Seek understanding rather than memorizing
For the best results, you need to seek understanding the material rather than simply memorizing it. If you understand clearly the core idea, you can often times derive the answer yourself, which is a higher form of studying than the inefficient memorizing and writing the answer word-by-word.
To know if you understand an idea clearly, imagine yourself explaining it to a child using simple terms and making it “colorful” to keep the child’s attention. If you’re able to do this, then there’s no doubt that you understand your material clearly.
Reduce all distractions
This is obviously a no-brainer and you probably heard it a million times already but it still needs to be said: Put your phone aside!
You need to detox yourself of the happy chemical (dopamine) your brain produces when you get a text or a new like on your picture. If not, your brain will always urge you to go get it at all times.
Using the Pomodoro technique, you can grab your phone on your 5 minutes break, but make sure it’s only for 5 minutes! Be as strict as you can with yourself and follow your schedule to a tee.
The dopamine you’ll get once you get higher grades is much more worth it, and using that as a stepping stone, you’ll find it much easier and more rewarding to follow your schedule next time you’re planning your studies.
Each of these methods can help you increase your productivity individually, but when used together, you’ll find your productivity shoot through the roof in a short span of time. They are extremely complementary methods of each other, so use them wisely.
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