Study Hacks – Using the Pomodoro Technique to Get into the FLOW

Ugh… time to study… or do homework… or anything else that simply sounds too boring to invest energy and time into it. When it comes to these tasks, are you constantly procrastinating, telling yourself you’ll do it later or waiting for inspiration to hit before you get started? Or maybe you enjoy your work and you’re good at getting HANDS ON into it. Either way, using the pomodoro technique is a simple way to tap into the FLOW when working, which can be super energizing! Have you ever heard the term, “Work smart, not hard?” Well, the pomodoro technique is one way to get started.

What is the pomodoro technique?

Firstly, let’s start with a pomodoro. “Pomodoro” means “tomato” in Italian. Basically, the guy who came up this technique was inspired by an old school kitchen timer, which was shaped like a tomato. And yes, he was Italian.

The word “pomodoro” is great though, because it helps you understand visually what the pomodoro technique is. It’s a time management trick. If you’ve got a Big Task, this is your whole, imaginary tomato. Now, imagine cutting that tomato into 4 slices. These are the smaller tasks you set for yourself to complete the Big Task. Sounds easy, right? It is!

So, how do I begin?

First thing’s first, give yourself a little bit of direction.

Each tomato slice is a 25-minute piece of work. This means that if you have a test to study for, the main topic is your Big Task. It could be a section in History. Easy-peasy, now Ancient Egypt is your whole tomato.

Next, pick out 4 different sections you need to learn about your main topic and write them down.

Here, they could be The Geography of Egypt, Egyptian Culture, Egyptian History and The Pyramids.

Now get your timer ready (you can even download various pomodoro apps on your phone!) and set it to 25 minutes. Yes, it sounds long and yes, it may be painful but if you just put your head down, you can do it.

You’re ready to begin! Start your first task. For these 25 minutes, it’s just you and your notes. No disturbances, no distractions – we’re tapping into a creative process here!

Once the timer beeps and you’re thinking “It’s done, already!” give yourself a 5-minute breather and place a big TICK where you can see it. That’s one section of the pomodoro done. Well done, you!

Stretch, drink some water, head to the bathroom and get ready for your next section of work.

Continue the process until you’ve got 4 big ticks. Now that you’ve finished a pomodoro and hopefully a whole lot of work, give yourself a 15-20 minute break or reward yourself with some guilt-free fun. Riding your bike or visiting a friend is so much better when you don’t have the stress of unfinished homework playing on the back of your mind!

Okay… but what’s so special about learning this way?

The human brain, despite its many amazing qualities, can only focus for so long. This is why it makes sense to spend 25 minutes studying with intense focus rather than hours rereading notes that just won’t go in.

It also takes a certain amount of time to get into the FLOW. The FLOW is that feeling you get when you’re doing something and you’re really “getting into it.” Some people have this when they dance, draw or even game. It may take the first 25 minutes to get there, but it’s worth it because you’re not just working, you’re enjoying yourself, too! Feeling a sense of flow AND seeing the big ticks of the tasks you’ve done straight up feels great.

So, if you find yourself procrastinating or struggling to get into your work, you know what to do! Starting may be tough – but just keep going and those feelings of success (and all the free time you’ll have) will be so worth it. Hey, you’ve got to do it so you may as well enjoy it, RITE?

Happy studying!

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