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How the Pomodoro Study Method Can Help You

How I started using the Pomodoro technique

In Year 10, the first year of my GCSE’s, I became familiar with the Pomodoro technique as a way to steadily study various subjects, primarily English, Maths and Science. I shared this method with my friends and began to revise together to comfortably pass our GCSEs.

We all found the Pomodoro technique to be a good way to split up time yet comfortably take in new information in intervals, without cramming extreme amounts of information and overrunning ourselves.

What is the Pomodoro technique?

The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. The technique uses a timer to break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks. Each interval is known as a Pomodoro, from the Italian word for ‘tomato‘, after the tomato-shaped kitchen timer that Cirillo used as a university student.

Wikipedia

The traditional way to execute the Pomodoro technique is to do work in blocks of 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, you take a 10 minute break, then do another block of 25. On the second break, you take 15 minutes, then go back to doing 25 minutes of work – alternating between 10-15 minute breaks.

For courses or studying that is practical, it’s not exactly practical to use the Pomodoro method, but for anything that is theory-based, it’s one of the best revision/working methods to use.

How I use the Pomodoro Method as a Creative Media student

No course is 100% practical and in Creative Media, there is no exception. Personally, I would say that the majority of my time in lessons is spent creating risk assessments, treatments and generating ideas than it is actually using a camera in the field. These documents are tedious to make and idea generation can take a long time — this is how I’ve used the Pomodoro technique to make my course easier (and sometimes more bearable!)

I start by using Notion to write my to-do list and write out any tasks or assignments I need to, in order of priority. It’s absolutely key that you do tasks in priority order rather than what you prefer to do, because this will mean that tasks will keep getting pushed back and it’s actually a better idea to do the tasks you enjoy most last.

Once I’ve decided on what tasks I need to do in a day, I’ll start at the highest priority, set a timer for 25 minutes for the first “study block” and work through the first task for 25 minutes. After doing this method a lot, I’ve realised that it normally takes me about 8 minutes to properly get into the work I’m doing and then I’ll normally be focused for the rest of the Pomodoro (multiple blocks).

After the first 25 minutes, I normally my first 5 or 10-minute break (you can shorten or lengthen this, the standard is a 10 or 15-minute break but if you’re enjoying and ready for the work you’re doing, 5 minutes works too) getting drinks, snacks and prepping any material or research that I’ll need to carry on.

After the break, I get back to working on what I was doing. If you finish work during a Pomodoro, what I personally do is spend the rest of that block prepping the next task I need to do, or if the task I’m doing next doesn’t require any prep, I’ll start my break early to make sure I’ve got everything ready (drinks, etc.) then restart the 25-minute block.

Summary

Once you’ve got used to and worked using the Pomodoro method consistently, you’ll begin to see the impact it has on your focus and productivity. I wasn’t the type of person to enjoy studying or getting work done, but after getting used to working in a structured fashion, the enjoyment factor went up due to the amount of work I could get done.


Thank you for reading my blog post, if you have any feedback or questions, please email me and I'd love to have a conversation with you! This article was written on September 26, 2020.

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