Consistent productivity is something we all struggle to maintain. As certain courses progress each chapter may vary in difficulty. Ensuring that we always use our time most efficiently is extremely important when it comes to study habits. One way I’ve been able to maximize my focus is through the Pomodoro Technique.

The Pomodoro Technique is an exercise in time management skills created by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. It encourages us to work with the time we are allotted instead of working against it. By allotting ourselves 25 minute work increments with 3-5 minute breaks in between we can eliminate the dreaded “burnt out” feeling we get after marathon study sessions.

Executing the Pomodoro Technique properly is simple. Chose a task to be completed and set a timer for 25 minutes. Any time a distraction comes to your attention—be it a text, email or snap—immediately write it down and then resume the task at hand. At the end of the first 25 minutes, allow a 3-5 minute break and then start another 25 minutes of focus. After four blocks of focus (also called “Pomodoros”) allow for a 15-30 minute break. Repeat the cycle until the task is completed.

It is important to record each Pomodoro we complete to reinforce a sense of progress. The best part of this method is being able to compare and contrast the number of Pomodoros needed to complete certain tasks over time. After a while more daunting tasks will begin to seem a lot more achievable and our estimate of the time they will take will become more realistic.

In addition to our work, the Pomodoro Technique offers us a clearer breakdown of our distractions in terms of priority . Knowing that we only have 5 minutes to take my mind off this Chemistry final on Friday helps us realize that aimlessly scrolling through our Twitter feed may be an activity best saved for later on. A more rewarding use of that 5 minutes could be finding last minute stub hub tickets to a sold out show this weekend.

For more information on the Pomodoro Technique visit where they have educational videos in addition to actual timers for sale.

About the author:

Tjani earned a bachelor’s in Chemistry at Tufts University.  He has tutored Chemistry, Biology and Math for 6 years.


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