There are plenty of tricks for study success, but when assignments are piling up and exams are looming, maintaining momentum is key.
If you're starved for time, the Pomodoro Technique can help you digest your to-do list.
Francesco Cirillo was a university student in the early 90s who created a habit of using a tomato-shaped kitchen timer to stay motivated while studying. And so, the method was born — pomodoro being Italian for tomato.
People in all lines of work have made use of this simple but effective technique. It will benefit anyone with a task at hand and a desire to beat procrastination.
The idea is to focus on one task, uninterrupted, for short sprints. Does that 2,000-word essay seem too big to tackle? Commit to 25 minutes at a time. You'll get regular breaks to prevent burnout.
You should start to see fewer distractions, improved concentration and increased productivity.
The method is simple:
1. Choose a task. You must be willing to give it your full attention.
2. Set a timer for 25 minutes. Use a physical kitchen timer, your phone or this free online version. Promise yourself: I will give this task my undivided attention!
3. Work on the task until the timer rings. Keep your eyes off your phone and back away from social media – everything you do during this time should be task-related. If your thoughts begin to wander, write them down on a separate piece of paper and return to it during a break.
4. When the timer rings, place a checkmark on your paper. You've completed a Pomodoro! Place a check on your tracking sheet.
5. Take a five-minute break. You’ve earnt it – text a friend, grab a snack or do some star jumps. Do anything that's unrelated to the task you’re chipping away at.
6. After every four Pomodoros, take a longer break. Your brain is tired, whether you like it or not. Let it rest for about 20–30 minutes. Set a timer so you don’t get carried away. When your break is up, start again from Step 2!