The Pomodoro Technique is a time-management technique that helps keep track of your work and emphasizes taking short breaks between bursts of work. It is helpful for those who find that distractions derail their studies, study beyond the optimal level of productivity, have open-ended tasks that take a lot of time like research, or enjoy setting goals and achieving them. Using the Pomodoro technique, you can study for your MCAT prep courses with complete focus and creative freshness.
What Is the Pomodoro Technique?
The author and software developer Francesco Cirillo developed the technique. In the late 1980s and early ’90s, he used a tomato-shaped food timer to track his work at university. The technique derives its name from the Italian word pomodoro, which means tomato, harking back to Cirillo’s timer.
The Pomodoro technique uses breaks to give your mind time to rest and come back fresh. Using the technique, you will take five-minute breaks for every 25 minutes of work. Then you will take a more extended break every 100 minutes.
The belief is that the technique helps users improve their stamina, especially on long projects or workdays. The work is more manageable since it is in smaller segments. It also reduces the impact unscheduled breaks have on your workflow.
Useful Tips on How to Use the Pomodoro Technique
To use the Pomodoro Techniques, you take the following steps.
- Start the session by defining your scope. Have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish.
- You only need a pen, paper, and a timer to equip yourself for the technique. You can use a food timer, smartwatch, or smartphone; whatever can keep time.
- Once you have everything in front of you, in this case, your study material, you set your timer to 25 minutes. Each work interval is called a Pomodoro. Take short breaks between each interval and take a 15 to 20-minute break after four Pomodoros.
- Study till the alarm goes off.
- Note each break before you give yourself the five minutes.
- After every four Pomodoros, note it down and take a more extended break.
Pros and Cons of Pomodoro Technique
Pros of Pomodoro Technique
- The Promodoro Technique makes you more accountable – You can note down the tasks you were able to complete during each session. Over time those notations will track your record and show you or your group how much work you put into the books.
- Small and long breaks can improve your physical and mental health – Staring at a computer or book for long periods can affect your eyesight, not to mention what the bad studying posture will do to your back. Taking a break will enable your body to stretch, rest and recover. Trying to cram knowledge into your brain can take its toll over time, but taking breaks allows it to digest what it has learned and prepare itself for new knowledge.
- Sometimes, looking at your study list can seem daunting – The Pomodoro technique breaks down the study list into small, manageable tasks. The technique makes the study list look achievable by breaking it down, thereby motivating you to get started. As you become more adept at the technique, you will become better at determining how many Pomodoros a task will take. Your study plan will become more accurate and efficient.
- Distractions are always present – Since they are within the break, they become less of a hindrance to your progress. With a solid plan, you can manage them better. You can set time aside to disconnect and for distractions, for example, social media.
- The Pomodoro technique can also gamify your studying and make it more exciting – You have to complete a task as the timer counts down, so it can feel like you are trying to finish a level or beat the clock. If you like games, you may enjoy using the technique.
Cons of Pomodoro Technique
- The technique may not work for tasks that take longer than 25 minutes to complete – such as doing practicals that take longer to complete. If a task takes longer than 25 minutes to complete, it will interrupt all subsequent Pomodoro scheduling. Additionally, you may be in the zone and require going past the 25-minute mark to keep the flow going.
- The technique can only work for those who have total control of their schedules – You can set your tasks, but they can disrupt your entire rhythm if other responsibilities beckon. The tasks have to be in 25 minutes intervals; if you can only spare 10 to 15 minutes, it renders the technique moot.
- The timer can become a distraction itself – It can put undue pressure to complete the task. Some students may find it harder to concentrate under pressure or rush their studying just to tick a box.
Study Using the Pomodoro Technique
If you have trouble with distractions, overstudying or procrastinating, then you may benefit from the Pomodoro Technique. You may find that it offers you the chance to study hard and track your progress. It can also reduce fatigue and burnout.