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Mr Chen's anecdotes.

Study Smarter with the Pomodoro Technique

Are you feeling overwhelmed by the mountain of homework, projects, and revision materials? Do you find it challenging to focus and stay productive amidst distractions (are you scrolling on Tiktok now while reading this post?)? If so, you're not alone! My students often ask me what they can do to stay focused and to revise effectively. I've also often talked about how I used to study. I totally get that getting started can still feel daunting. Fortunately, there's a simple yet powerful technique that can help you overcome procrastination and enhance your productivity - the Pomodoro Technique.

The Pomodoro Technique

The Pomodoro Technique originates back to the late 1980s. It was named after the Italian word for tomato (inspired by the tomato-shaped kitchen timer used by its creator, Francesco Cirillo).

Why is the Pomodoro Technique so useful?

It breaks your work into manageable intervals, typically 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks.

Here's how you can implement the Pomodoro Technique to maximise your productivity while doing your revision:

1. Prepare Your Workspace

Before you begin your Pomodoro session, ensure that your study space is conducive. Clear away distractions, organise the materials that you need, and set up a comfortable environment that allows you to focus solely on your revision. Use the restroom first if you need to, and make sure to keep a cup of water close by so that you do not need to leave your seat during your Pomodoro interval. (see next point)

2. Set a Timer

Once you are ready to start working, set a timer for 25 minutes - this is your Pomodoro interval.

3. Work with Focus

Dive into your task wholeheartedly, giving it your undivided attention of the entire 25 minutes.

During this time, commit to the task that you have decided to work on and work on it with full concentration. Avoid interruptions or distractions. Whether you are writing an essay, solving math problems, or studying for your weighted assessment, aim to make significant progress within the 25-minute timeframe.

If you are working a big chapter, consider breaking the chapter up into smaller portions to work on during the 25 minutes.

4. Take Short Breaks

When the timer rings, it is time for your break! Typically, the recommended break time is about 5 minutes. Use this time to stretch, hydrate, and to just step away from your task. This may sound simple, but trust me- it works wonders in helping you feel energised and prepared for the next Pomodoro interval.

5. Repeat the Cycle

repeat the Pomodoro technique and cycle

After the break, return to your work and start another 25-minute session. Repeat this cycle of 25 minutes of focused work followed by a 5 minute break, for at least a total of 4 Pomodoros. After completing 4 Pomodoros, take a longer break of about 15 - 30 minutes to help you recharge better.

6. Track Your Progress and Adjust as Necessary

Keep track of your progress and take note of your performance and study patterns. This may help you to adjust your study sessions better. For example, you may wish to adjust the length of your Pomodoro interval if you wish to have more time for writing a full essay during a particular session. While the standard Pomodoro interval is 25 minutes, some students find that shorter or longer interval works better for them. Experimenting with different timings might be useful for discovering what works best for you.

By incorporating the Pomodoro Technique into your study routine, you can better enhance your productivity while revising and manage your time more effectively. The Pomodoro Technique may be simple, but it is powerful in helping you stay focused. It is also a great way to help you get started by providing good structure.

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