Does the Pomodoro Technique work?

Lifehack, Lifestyle, Psychology

In the previous century, Time Management wasn’t widespread as much as it is today. Every successful person knows how valuable time is and how they should control it. Today, if you want to be successful at your job, you will have to possess the following: self-organization, motivation, devotion, goal-orientation and desire to learn. As we know, all that is possible but time consuming. How can we acquire such skills?

First of all, there is a technique called Pomodoro Technique. You might have never heard of it, but, believe it or not, it is one of the best methods to keep you focused. Pomodoro Technique was developed in the late 1980s by an Italian named Francesco Cirillo. It is a 25-minute method which is separated by short breaks. Why Pomodoro? Because it pertains to an italian word for the kitchen-timer which is “tomato” in English.

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Professor of Engeneering at Oakland University Barbara Oakley highly recommends this method for college students and everybody else who need their time to be spent wisely. In case you want to know more about how it works, you might want to read her book “Mindshift: Break Through Obstacles to Learning and Discover Your Hidden Potential” where she describes the Pomodoro Technique in detailes.

In my own experience, I achieved amazing results using this technique. I would accomplish so much by the end of the day only by sticking to the timer. I couldn’t believe it! When you think of it, it is only 25 minutes — break — another 25 minutes — and then a longer break. In such a way you can do everything you have planned for the day. The main idea of this technique is to eliminate possible distructions like cell phone, TV, Internet etc.

There is no doubt that some tasks require more time than the other ones. So what? Give yourself first 25 minutes and you will see how many more pomodoros you will need for a certain task in the course of the day. It might be even better if you alternate the biggest task with the smaller ones. Thus your brain won’t get tired of doing the same thing for a few hours, because your brain loses concentration dramatically after 20-25 minutes of being in focused mode.  It is also very important to take breaks after each session. Otherwise you won’t be able to concentrate later on.

As an approach, you might want to give yourself a reward spending a couple of pomodoros on your favorite activities in order to get used to self-orgaization. It depends on how many tasks you have for the day. Try to do what you need first and then start with something you want to do.

Besides the book, I also recommend the course called “Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects” which you can find on Coursera (you will see the link below). This course is all about strategies and ways to learn and remember what you learn, and it is conducted by the same professor of Engeneering Barbara Oakley. I find it informative and useful. I hope you will, too!

The link to the course: https://www.coursera.org/learn/learning-how-to-learn

Inspired by the article: http://bigthink.com/videos/learn-how-to-learn-better-with-the-pomodoro-technique

Written by Snizhana Pashuk.