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How You Should Use The Pomodoro Method

By Sarah Javed

Do you often find yourself unmotivated when it comes time to study? Or maybe your study breaks last longer than expected? I know I can personally relate to both of those. If that’s the case for you as well, the Pomodoro method is something you need to try. This article will cover everything you need to know about it, from what exactly is in each cycle to specific techniques for maximizing productivity.

What is a Pomodoro and Why Should You Use It?

Essentially, a Pomodoro consists of work periods, short breaks, and long breaks (all of which will be broken down later on). In each cycle, there are three breaks and four work sessions. These sections of time are strategically placed to ensure that motivation isn’t lost. Plus, the short breaks are long enough to rest, but not long enough to distract you from the task at hand.

The process is simple and free!

How to use the technique

There are two main components to the Pomodoro strategy: the work periods and the breaks. In this section, I explain an example of how I used the method to prepare for my culminating.

  1. Select a task

By this point, you should have a to-do list of everything you need to get done today. Select which assignment to tackle first and how long you anticipate it to take. Make sure to keep all the supplies needed for the task and pull out a phone or timer for the next step.

For example, the day before one of my math culminating, my to-do list consisted of reviewing terms and practice problems. I decided that I would probably spend 3-4 hours doing that, and gathered my textbook, laptop and notebook.

  1. The Work Period

Set a timer for 25 minutes, and get to work. Often, the first work time is the hardest, but remember that you will need to do the task eventually. This time needs to be protected, so keep all distractions out of reach.

During this time, I worked on reviewing key-terms from the units through flashcards.

  1. The Short Break

Once your 25-minute timer rings, you can take a small break! Set your timer for five minutes and step away from your workspace. I know the first thing that might come to mind might be to check your phone, but that can often lead to distractions and counter-productivity. Instead, here are some things you can do during the short breaks:

  • Grab a snack or drink

  • Stretch

  • Doodle/colour

  • Listen to music

  • Work on a puzzle or word search

  • Prepare materials for the next task if you finished the first one

In my first break, I prepared some hot chocolate to drink while studying.

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