Pomodoro Technique: why it worked for me and could work for you too

Invented in the 80s by Francesco Cirillo, he calls the technique “Pomodoro” as he first practiced it using a tomato timer to time his intervals. Pomodoro is a sauce typically made from tomatoes, served with pasta (Photo used my permission of Wikimedia commons).

Upon scrolling through the various public Snapchat stories, I noticed a news station had a story on a Youtuber who makes videos of himself studying. He just sits in front of a camera all day, without saying a word, and studies like any other studious student would do.

My first reaction was a little confused and weirded out, as I wondered why people would watch a video of someone studying silently. The article later claimed that many of the comments talked about how much his videos motivated them to study and to stop procrastinating.

My article findings occurred on Saturday, and when it came time to start my homework after lunch on Sunday, I was dreading it. I had forgotten I had multiple assignments to do and felt extremely overwhelmed, believing I would have to stay up all night to complete them.

I completed a few easy assignments that took no longer than five minutes combined and still felt overwhelmed. In the back of my mind, I toyed with the idea of watching one of the “Study with Me” videos, wondering if that would decrease my procrastination.

After searching “Study with Me” on Youtube, I clicked on the first video with over 2.5 million views titled “STUDY WITH ME (with music) 2.5 HOURS POMODORO SESSION!” Calming music began to play, and a presumably college-aged student appeared on the screen with a highlighter in hand and a computer and notebook in front of her.

What didn’t make sense to me was why a timer popped up in the bottom corner of the screen. The Youtuber’s avatar quickly showed up to explain what the timer, and in turn what the Pomodoro technique is.

The Pomodoro technique is simply a time management technique that involves choosing a bunch of tasks to complete and splitting them into 25 minutes work intervals. Work really hard for 25 minutes, complete as many tasks as possible and then once the timer goes off, take a 5 min break and then repeat three more times. Afterwards, take a 30 min break and repeat the whole process.

I have a lot of problems with time management, as I get distracted very easily when doing work. I’m also quite exhausted after getting home from school and have absolutely no motivation to do homework, so I waste hours of time on YouTube, Netflix, and Instagram.

But being a junior in high school and thinking about college and my years of studying ahead, I decided it wouldn’t hurt to try it out. So, I began my work at 1:30 pm Sunday afternoon and finished by 11:30 that night.

I had around seven assignments in total but followed the technique as described, including calming music in the background. I typically work for very short amounts of time and then end up taking breaks that are way longer than they need to be.

But surprisingly, assignments that I would have normally freaked out about and procrastinated even further, I completed in an hour each including a lab summary, reading a whole chapter of a book, and a classwork assignment involving research.

The music was calming, contrary to my normal distracting music, and allowed me to really focus in on the work I was doing. I could really take in all of the content that I was reading and had a chance to fully understand it.

On Monday, I began my work at 4:00 and played a different music mix this time, but completed the pomodoros like normal, just with longer breaks (accidentally). I took a break at 8:30 to eat, and ended up finishing my homework at 12:00 but I worked on tasks due Wednesday.

Sometimes I find it hard to study for tests or quizzes and frequently forget the information I need to know, but I had no problem this time. On Tuesday I took a test in my AP Earth and Environmental Science class (notoriously hard) and managed to get 10 points higher on this test than the previous, when I thought I understood the previous test’s content better.

Although I couldn’t start my homework until 7:30 on Tuesday, I followed a similar structure as Monday’s, 25 minutes with longer breaks, but I got a head start on my work and still managed to get to bed at 10:15, an incredible feat for a junior in high school.

And finally on Wednesday, I had very little homework, so I didn’t take breaks but just plowed through my tasks with calming music in the background.

Needless to say, this may have begun as an experiment, but I will definitely be continuing it. I’ve seen major improvement in my ability to understand content, but also a decrease in my stress levels. When I put aside time for each separate assignment and not worry about when I will finish it, it allows me to better complete my assignments.

The Pomodoro technique is an awesome way to control stress, increase sleep, and complete tasks quickly, all with the use of time management.


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