Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Harvest focus with the Pomodoro Technique

Nora Romman

Aside from being the decadent sauce on your pasta, “Pomodoro” is a refreshing, valuable addition to UT students’ study strategies. Time management is a necessary skill to manage the stressors and obligations of being a UT student.

“It carves out what feels like an achievable amount of time to study with the Pomodoro method, most students (think) it’s 45 minutes studying and 15 minutes off,” said Erin Cotter, coordinator of the public speaking center and learning specialist at the Sanger Learning Center. “You can change that up as much as you want. I can’t really do a Pomodoro for more than 30 minutes. I use it in my workday.”

Incorporating the Pomodoro Technique into your study routine could facilitate a less chaotic schedule that allows for hobbies, relaxation and reflection. Philosophical concepts and studies have shown that frequent breaks correspond with higher efficiency levels in productivity-centered environments. 

The Pomodoro Technique might sound foreign, but it simply refers to taking breaks while studying. The skill was developed by Francesco Cirillo who called the process the “Pomodoro” because he used a tomato-shaped timer. 

The technique involves a multi-step study routine where you study for 25 minutes, take a five-minute break and repeat the process three times. Once you finish the first segment, take a 30-minute break and do it all over again until you feel like you have accomplished the task at hand. Don’t feel bound by the time constraints, and feel free to increase or decrease your study breaks. 

What do you do in these five-minute breaks? Nothing and everything. Scroll through Instagram, call your mom, stretch, doodle or do anything that isn’t related to the current goal. Detaching yourself from your work creates a period of time where being distracted is the main objective. 

“I think I’m better able to manage my time,” biomedical engineering sophomore Dishita Awataney said. “I have a list of things I need to do, and then, I’m able to do it within those times, so I’m able to study more efficiently.” 

It is also important to record your study sessions to track how effective the technique is. Documenting time spent studying in a planner or even on a loose sheet of paper will allow you to see your progress and how many Pomodoro sessions were required to achieve your goal. 

Short spurts of work time allow for more productive study sessions. In the end, you might find you accomplished much more than you typically would have — all while avoiding distractions like cell phones or other preoccupying thoughts. 

UT students should embrace beneficial study methods like the Pomodoro Technique. We are constantly under pressure to perform at a high standard, and the best way to accomplish this is to respect our boundaries and take breaks. (I even used Pomodoro to write this column). 

Shenoy is an economics sophomore from Houston, Texas.

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