Make Technology Work for Your Studies, Not Against Them: Why I Use the Pomodoro Technique


Have you SEEN those adorable kitchen timers!? Even though I know that I won’t ever use one while cooking, I’ve had my eye on one shaped like an awesome little teapot (looking at you, Rachael Ray). Even beyond your culinary needs, though, those timers can be a great study tool. That’s where the Pomodoro Technique comes into play.

Pomodoro is the Italian word for “tomato,” and the technique is based on those tomato-shaped kitchen timers. The basic idea is that you focus in on whatever your task may be for a certain amount of time, take a short break, repeat a few times, take a longer break…and then do it all over again. The cool thing is, there are apps that you can download onto your phone and computers that will keep track of the time for you, and let you know when to begin and end your breaks. And let me tell you- for me, it really works.

Sample study schedule:

Math homework - 25 min
/5 min break
Anatomy pre-lab - 25 min 
/5 min break
English essay - 25 min
/10 min break
Chemistry test studying - 25 min
/5 min break
English essay works cited - 25 min
/5 min break
AP US History reading - 25 min
/10 min break

Of course, each person’s productivity is dependent on a range of factors unique to them. So, if this method of doing work doesn’t cut it for you, don’t sweat it! That just means that something else might work better.

Here’s why I like the Pomodoro Technique: I can put away social media, stop talking to friends, and focus on the work in front of me for a solid 25 minutes because 1. I can look forward to the break that is coming up and 2. 25 minutes is not so lengthy that I would become fatigued by working that long without allowing myself a respite. By utilizing Pomodoro Technique apps, as well as apps that block any websites that you may be tempted to visit while you are doing work, you can make great use of any available technology as you get things done. Even if you don’t have any technology on hand, you can go old-school and use a pencil and paper and any clock to keep track of your time!

Keep in mind that just like with anything new, the Pomodoro Technique may not help you to be more efficient right away, especially if you have never tried it. However, I would urge you to stick with it to see if you are able to focus on your work more than before. You might be surprised at what you find!

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