Studying more efficiently with the Pomodoro Technique

Everyone knows that studying isn’t always a breeze. Sometimes it’s difficult to concentrate due to a number of things: lack of motivation, general tiredness, or a million and one distractions that could be occupying our minds.

Besides those factors, part of the reason why studying is sometimes viewed as almost torturous is because we tend to think of it as long, agonising sessions in which we constantly read heavy textbooks, or rack our brains trying to solve one problem out of a hundred in an assessment worksheet. To be fair, some people have no problems studying for hours at a time, but what about those who just can’t stand looking at another algebra equation after an hour?

There have been a multitude of study tips created and shared over the years, especially with the rise of social media and the internet. Among these publicised strategies, the Pomodoro Technique has become one of the most popular ones to date.

Who created the Pomodoro Technique?

The Pomodoro Technique was created sometime in the late 1980s by an Italian named Francesco Cirillo. A university student at the time, Cirillo was experimenting with new strategies to help him study better, trying out various duration lengths for studying to find the most optimal one.

It’s said that by the time he perfected his technique, he was regularly using a tomato-shaped kitchen timer that had been lying around to help him track the time. As the word ‘pomodoro’ means ‘tomato’ in Italian, the humble vegetable therefore lent its name to the now-famous study aid.

The Pomodoro Technique in three (or four) easy steps

Here’s how your child can practise the Pomodoro Technique:

Step 1: Set a timer for 25 minutes, then settle down and start studying.

Step 2: When the 25 minutes are up, take a short 5-10 minute break.

Step 3: Repeat this cycle another 3 times.

Step 4: After finishing the 4th study session, take a longer 15-20 minute break.

And that’s it!

Tips to make the Pomodoro Technique work for you

First, your child should have a specific goal in mind for each 25 minute study session. Maybe it’s reading up about a new topic in Science, or finishing 10 Maths problems. Whatever the objective may be, make sure it’s something with clearly defined milestones.

Next, be sure to minimise distractions as much as possible during each session. The Pomodoro Technique helps increase focus, but that won’t work if the TV screen is turned on or if the phone is vibrating with new text messages every minute.

When it comes to taking a break, step away from the study area entirely. A change of environment will help your child transition away from a ‘studying’ mood and refresh themselves better.

As soon as break time is over, your child should be back at the study table for another session punctually, working towards a new goal. The longer they delay the session, the more likely they are to procrastinate further.

Why is the Pomodoro Technique so popular?

The secret to the Pomodoro Technique’s popularity is that it’s simple and easy to use. With only four steps to the whole process, even students as young as seven can start practising it.

Besides its simplicity, the Pomodoro Technique is also well-liked because it emphasises short bursts of effort rather than long sustained study sessions, which improves motivation and productivity.

Lastly, the Pomodoro Technique is versatile enough that not only is it ideal for students, it’s also great for working adults; try using it if you’re stuck and need some help getting back into the flow!

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