The Pomodoro Technique
As an incoming college student, motivation happens to be at its highest and lowest point simultaneously, and hearing that there is another strain of coronavirus doesn’t make it any better. I’m excited to walk into a new adventure, but my emotions are blurring the prerequisites necessary to pursue the next steps. Some days I catch myself following my list of things to do and other days, TikTok seems more important. But, it’s TikTok that bestowed one of the most successful methods to resolving these “motivationless funks.”
The second semester of my senior year in high school was by far the HARDEST six months of my life. With planning sports highlights, getting ready for college, and studying for AP tests, I was drowning in work. While I was scrolling through TikTok instead of studying for my chemistry test, I fell upon a technique known as the “Pomodoro Method.” It was that unproductive moment that changed the way I studied and operated my day.
Laura Scroggs, a writer for the Todoist, dates this life-saver back to the 1980s with an Italian college student and a tomato kitchen timer. Francesco Cirillo found himself slacking in school until he committed to set periods of time for work and rest. His technique was a success; it was so revolutionary that he wrote a book. In a nutshell, the technique is executed as 25 minutes of work and 5 minutes of rest. It is repeated as many times as necessary, with a 15-minute break every four sessions. Such a simple set of instructions has changed the lives of many students and workers.
The hardest part is sticking to it, but observing how fast 25 minutes flies when you are productive makes all the difference. During the five minutes of rest, it is advised to completely stay away from work. Personally, I ensure I have enough water to continue and use the bathroom. Honestly, use the bathroom before you start because you and I know that if you have to go during a session, the phone goes with you and Facebook becomes more important than your work.
Why Is The Pomodoro Technique So Successful
Its success is attributed to its ability to combat distraction and catalyze the start of productivity.
“The Pomodoro Technique helps you resist all of those self-interruptions and re-train your brains to focus”
-Free Lance Writer for the Todoisit Laura Scroggs
Whether it’s playing lofi beats to silence your thoughts or locking your phone in a 4-digit safe, the ability to set a distraction-free space will maximize the effects of the Pomodoro technique.
My journey with this method brought me to Youtube where I discovered a plethora of Pomodoro variations. Some YouTubers prefer 50 minutes on, 10 minutes off, others stay traditional; some prefer music and others don’t. With that being said, don’t get carried away, or do because I’m not going to stop you. I once studied for five hours straight with this technique and aced my test. It is important, however, to remember that there are only 24 hours in the day and spending time with friends and family is important.
I understand that loads of work can be difficult to prioritize, but I’ve learned that planning my Pomodoro sessions can make the load lighter. For example, if my Pomodoro is 25 minutes, I’ll write down what I want to achieve for that period of time, etc. Following your plan will not only increase your confidence, but you’ll realize how much work you can get done in a small allocated amount of time. It is also important to plan when you will complete your work. I found that the time I had after dinner was ideal because I wasn’t too tired and no one would solicit my attention. This technique is flexible; it does not require a time of day or a noise level, just a set amount of time.
I contribute 97% of my successful semester to this technique. I was able to study for my classes and my AP exams without feeling anxious and I became a better self-directed learner in the process. We’ve all heard the phrase, “Work smarter, not harder.” The Pomodoro technique is the epitome of this motto and it is simple to begin. All it requires is some of your time and a goal-oriented mindset and you are on your way to a stress-free work environment.
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