McAdvice: Pomodoro

Image by Kyle Parks.Image by Kyle Parks.

Amid the busyness throughout the second half of the semester, students run on caffeine, pub runs, and other substances that should not be mentioned in front of authority figures. Students are cramming and pulling late nights, but are they really using their time efficiently? Some people would argue that they aren’t. There are many study tactics, some more effective than others, but one that has been praised almost universally—and previously mentioned in McAdvice—is the “Pomodoro” Technique. What makes this technique so special?

The Pomodoro technique is revolutionary for a few reasons:

1. It helps you work with time. By having a timer and setting up work periods of 25 minutes, you can focus on specific tasks for longer periods of time. This also works only if you make a promise to yourself to not get distracted. After the 25 minutes are up, then you take a five minute break. Those five minutes can be used to check social media, get some snacks, get something to drink, or just to not think of anything. One cycle of 25 minutes of work and 5 minutes of rest is one pomodoro; after four of these cycles, you can take a longer 20-30 minute break before you start out the next pomodoro.

2. It helps you eliminate the burnout feeling. The scheduled working time combined with scheduled break times allows your brain to rest before tackling the next task. Many times while studying for long periods of time we think of other things we need to do and begin to do them, further distracting ourselves from the task at hand. By attempting to focus on too many assignments at a time we overwork ourselves much faster. If you think of something you need to do, you just write it down on a piece of paper and finish the task you gave yourself first, you can do that once you finish what your doing now; that helps your brain process several components without overworking it.

3. In relation to the last point, the Pomorodo Technique helps you manage the distractions around you. By sticking to the task at hand, you become more efficient in your work. Again, this only works if you promise to yourself to stick to the game plan. Oftentimes these distractions can wait, and they can be dealt with in the five minute break you give yourself as well. You can also see them as a reward for working so hard, you can mess around on Facebook or Twitter during the break, as long as you get back to work when the timer ends.

4. It creates a better balance of life and work. The scheduled times of work and break helps your brain focus and work when need to, and relax when it can. If you continue the Pomodoro Technique for long enough, it could become second nature and you can start implementing it into your day-to-day life. You will become more productive, have more times for rest, and the quality of your work will improve. The Pomodoro Technique helps you manage your time and stop procrastination, and that in turn helps you get to sleep earlier.

The Pomodoro technique has helped students all around the world. As large assignments pile up, we want all the help we can get. Pomodoro can be that help, it could be your superhero this week, and once again when it comes to finals.