How to Use the Pomodoro Technique for School Success
Staying focused can be a challenge for any student. Many tend to procrastinate, and when the deadline is near, they cram as a result. One of the ways to battle this is through the Pomodoro Technique, an effective time-management strategy that can help you accomplish all your tasks.
For this article, we will show you how you can use the Pomodoro Technique to improve your focus, use your time efficiently, and finish your project or assignment without a hitch.
Table of Contents
What Is the Pomodoro Technique?
The Pomodoro Technique is a time management technique created by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s while he was still a university student. Back then, Cirillo struggled to focus on his studies and find time to complete his assignments.
To remedy this, he forced himself to spend two minutes focusing on studying. Finding his solution effective, he increased the time he allocated for studying. He found that studying for 25 minutes with 5-minute breaks was the most effective. Cirillo named his strategy the Pomodoro Technique after the tomato-shaped timer he used to develop it.
How Does It Work?
Make a List
Write down the list of things you must do and determine which ones you should accomplish for the day.
Divide Your Tasks into More Manageable Chunks
Use a timer to help you monitor the time you should spend on each task, say 25 minutes. Incidentally, one Pomodoro is equivalent to 25 minutes. In some instances, you can combine smaller tasks for one Pomodoro.
Set Your Timer for 25 Minutes
Once you have divided your to-do list into smaller tasks, set your timer and work on the task without any distractions until the timer rings.
Take a Break
Stop working for five minutes before moving on to the next task. You can use the time to exercise, use the restroom, or rest your eyes. You can also prepare some snacks to break the monotony.
Take an Extended Break
After accomplishing 4 or 5 Pomodoros, take a longer break. This time, give yourself 15 to 20 minutes for an extended coffee break or, perhaps, lunch. If you are cooped up in a room, use the time to go out and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. How about a rest or a power nap? Do whatever you want to do during your long break so you can be ready for more Pomodoros.
Why Is the Pomodoro Technique Effective?
The Pomodoro Technique is very simple. But many people find it a very effective time management solution for work or study. Some of the reasons why the technique works include the following:
It Makes Things Urgent.
Since your time is limited, you know that you should perform a task quickly. Thus, you try to find innovative and creative ways to finish the task.
It Helps You Avoid Distractions.
The shorter time allowance makes you focus on your work, eluding distractions that could slow you down or even take you away from your task at intervals. The Pomodoro Technique makes you aware that you need to control time to accomplish your goals.
It Prevents Procrastination.
You learn discipline and responsibility by applying the Pomodoro Technique. Since you already know what to do and when to finish a task, you will be more organized in how you go about your to-do list. By using the Pomodor Technique, you will also practice self-discipline, and avoid delaying any tasks.
You Become More Productive.
Using a timer makes you aware of how you spend your time studying or working. You increase your productivity because you plan your day better. Moreover, you have more time for yourself to take care of your well-being.
Pomodoro Apps and Tools
There are various apps you can use to help you employ the Pomodoro Technique. The selection available can be used for project management, studying, and collaborating with other students or officemates.
ClickUp is a free task management app that helps you track time, mark due dates, and organize your coursework. You can prioritize what should be done first with this app.
The Forest app gamifies the Pomodoro Technique. In this app, each task you are working on is represented by a tree, which grows as you progress with your work. The tree dies if you abandon the task.
Pomotodo is an app that lets you create a to-do list, set your goals, and set a duration for each of your tasks (up to 30 minutes). You can also integrate the app with Google Calendar or iOS Calendar to help you plan your work better.
Tips on Using the Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro Technique can help students in their daily tasks. Through this method, students can prioritize tasks like research work and assignments. Here are a few tips to use the technique to stay focused while studying, and achieve better grades.
- Create a map of the topics you must study for the day.
- Divide your study sessions into 30-, 35- or 40-minute chunks.
- Turn off your smartphone to avoid distractions. Moreover, tell your family members to refrain from disturbing you while you are doing a Pomodoro. Likewise, turn off social media and email notifications when using your laptop.
- List down the distractions that crop up during your study session.
- Review the distractions after completing a Pomodoro so that you can avoid them next time.
- Take a long break (20-30 minutes) after completing four Pomodoros to relax your brain.
Use Your Study Time Effectively
We all know that time is too precious to waste. In your busy schedule as a student, the Pomodoro Technique helps you prioritize tasks, finish them step by step, and avoid being overwhelmed by the work you have to do per semester. Through proper time management, you can divide your day-to-day activity into manageable chunks, allowing you to finish more tasks efficiently.
Sarah is an accomplished educator, researcher and author in the field of testing and assessment. She has worked with various educational institutions and organisations to develop innovative evaluation methods and enhance student learning. Sarah has published numerous articles and books on assessment and learning. Her passion for promoting equity and fairness in the education system fuels her commitment to sharing insights and best practices with educators and policymakers around the world.