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The Pomodoro Magic: How to Use the Method for Effective Study

June 17, 2022
StudySmart Team
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A primary school boy is seen in a classroom writing in a notebook.

Focus and attention: the two aspects that are huge challenges for students worldwide. The world around us today makes it increasingly challenging for everyone to concentrate on what we do- whether it is work, study, or even sleep in peace. Thanks to state-of-the-art tech gadgets and social media platforms, our focussing ability and attention span have considerably degraded.

Imagine the plight of students in this scenario- especially those preparing for crucial exams like the PSLE in Singapore. Fortunately, the Pomodoro technique comes as a saving grace for those struggling to focus on quality study time.

Getting to Know the Pomodoro Technique

This technique was developed and created in the '80s by entrepreneur Francesco Cirillo when he started using his tomato-shaped kitchen timer to organise his schedule. As the story goes, Francesco struggled to concentrate on his work when he challenged himself to focus on the task at hand for ten minutes. So effective was this technique in improving his attention span and productivity that Francesco wrote a book about it and named it the Pomodoro technique.

If you are looking for the Pomodoro meaning, it refers to tomato in Italian. Each working interval is called "Pomodoro". It divides the work duration into regular, short intervals, thus allowing you to take a break before the work overwhelms you.

Here's how the Pomodoro technique works:

  • Create a to-do list.
  • Set your timer for 25 minutes.
  • Start focussing on the first task on the list.
  • Take a 5-minute break when the first 25 minutes are up.
  • Repeat the same for four more Pomodoro intervals and take a longer break.

This method is intended to help overcome procrastination while avoiding burnout and impairing productivity.

So, why is the Pomodoro technique recognised for its success worldwide? It is probably because the technique is the most practically effective method that allows you to work for a manageable amount of time. Besides, it is particularly beneficial for students struggling to focus on their studies. But how? Let's read on.

Also Read : The 7-Step Guide to PSLE Situational Writing

6 Ways the Pomodoro Technique Enhances Study Time

The Pomodoro technique for studying allows students to:

1. Decide on the interval duration

For 25 minutes of intense study, a 5-minute break is only a rough guide. Students can extend or shorten this duration as per their convenience. Students should learn how to optimise on this break. They can take longer intervals or even skip them if it helps to maintain the momentum.

A primary school girl is seen writing in a notebook.

2. Gear up for 25 minutes of uninterrupted studying

Before setting the alarm for the first 25 minutes, students must keep everything ready to work without any interruptions. They should not break the concentration by looking for stationery materials, reference notes, and books.

3. Choose the task

After setting up the study scenario, students can choose the topic they want to study or any other task related to exam revision. In short, they should be absolutely clear about what they want to accomplish before the alarm rings. Such things should be decided before the session commences.

4. Enforce the break

The best aspect of the Pomodoro technique is that students are compelled to take a break, no matter how absorbed they are in their work. This technique trains the brain to perceive the break as a reward for 25 minutes of intense studying.

During this time, students can do anything to freshen up and reset their minds. They can:

  • Do stretches.
  • Move around.
  • Chat with friends or family.
  • Grab a quick snack.
  • Visit the restroom.
  • Have a glass of water.

It is also an opportunity to address any questions during the first block of time.

5. Make the break worthwhile

The 25-minute study method is a chance to refrain from any distractions that lead to procrastination, like playing video games, watching TV, or using smartphones and other gadgets. They can rather grab a beverage or take a brisk walk around the house to refresh their body and mind.

6. Take longer breaks after 4 study cycles

Pomodoro's prime intention is the intense focus for a designated duration. When students spend every minute of it without giving in to distractions, they should reward themselves with a 20 or 30-minute break. In fact, it is mandatory to take this break after completing four cycles of intense study.

Done well, the Pomodoro technique helps resist unnecessary distractions and retrains the brain to focus. It is no wonder that millions of people worldwide are swearing at the life-changing power of this technique. While there are numerous benefits, we have listed the top three advantages of using the Pomodoro technique for effective study.

3 Benefits of Relying on the Pomodoro Method

1. Helps handle procrastination and combats distractions

25 minutes of focused study is a great way to ward off distractions and silly reasons for procrastination. Although we can conveniently blame technology for our distractions, the truth is that most of them are self-inflicted. This is where the Pomodoro technique effectively realigns the attention to the task at hand, thereby allowing students to make the most of their study time.

2. Enables detailed planning and execution

The Pomodoro technique is a great way to master time management, which is a big challenge for many students. In addition to helping the students with time management, the short-timed interval gives them the chance to decide what they want to accomplish in that time period.

3. Prevents over-learning and burnout

The time interval helps students delegate a reasonable amount of time for each topic, preventing over-learning and burnout. The interval becomes an event that measures focus on a particular task. This leads to much more realistic time estimates that effectively prevents burnout.

Before We Conclude

"Pomodoring" has more benefits than just training the brain to stay focussed on one task. Consistent use of this technique will help students improve their attention span in class, which will positively affect their overall academic performance.
Teach your child the power of Pomodoro with our StudySmart app and watch them reap amazing results! StudySmart harnesses the power of Artificial Intelligence and is backed by neuroscience. Want a demo? Call us today!

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