Are you tired of your study sessions? Lacking the motivation to study? Do you find that when you sit down to study your concentration goes all over the place?
Trust me, I get it. There have been many times when I would sit down to study and find my mind starts dosing off, or I just find myself lacking the concentration needed to achieve my goal.
I started to research different ways to make study sessions more productive and I found two things that really popped out to me. One was using the Pomodoro study method and the other was downloading some really cool apps that help to keep me focused and off my phone during study sessions.
This post in particular is just going to focus on the Pomodoro study method and in my post, Best productive apps for college students, I discuss the apps I use to make the Pomodoro method more personalized to me.
What is the pomodoro method?
The Pomodoro study method is just a fancy way of saying that you set a timer for an intense, but short burst of work. Say 25 minutes then when the timer is up you take a break for say 5-10 minutes.
After your break, you start the cycle all over again. The point is to have shorter more focused and intensive sessions to get work done.
Benefits of the Pomodoro method
It allows you to make short-term and simple goals for your study sessions.
I find this to be great because my goal list for my study sessions used to be a mile long, and I would be at my desk working and taking breaks at random. Often times not getting through all my goals. But if you know you only have 25 minutes or however long you decide to make your session, it forces you to simplify and focus on one particular thing at a time.
It allows for fewer distractions.
I am the queen of distraction. I would study for 5 minutes and then pick up my phone to scroll Pinterest. Then study again then my phone. It was a horrible cycle. Which lead to a lackluster and unproductive study session. But this method forces you to put your all into a short study session. Full concentration is needed. I tend to make my sessions on the shorter side. Like 20 minutes because I have a hard time concentrating after that.
It helps to motivate you to get through your study session.
Since your session is only 30 minutes or so, it really motivates you to do your best within that time frame. I tend to push myself more knowing that I only have a certain amount of time to complete my task. It’s like a race against the clock. I have goals and I have a short time to complete them. So this helps me to stay on task and power through.
This method also helps me to study too. When I lack motivation I think let’s just do one 20 minute cycle and then I end up doing more. It’s just getting started for me.
It helps decrease mental fatigue.
This is one I can attest to. I used to study for a crazy amount of time not giving myself proper breaks. This method put all that in the past.
I now study for a short amount of time and then break. This gives my brain time to absorb the information and to rest. And trust me, a nursing student going through mental fatigue is the worst. Because you lack motivation and just feel super tired. This alleviates all of that.
Guidelines to the Pomodoro Study method
- Respect the timer. When the timer goes off you stop studying. Even if you feel like you need another couple of minutes. Even if you feel like you could study for another 20 minutes no problem. The point of this is to do as much as you can with a limited time frame. Respecting the timer helps to keep your motivation and productivity levels up during the sessions.
- Try to keep your sessions to around 20-40 minutes max. If your session is too long you will begin to lose motivation. You will get lost in the sauce, and productivity will decrease. But if you have shorter sessions it will help to stay focused.
- Give yourself 5-10 minute breaks and stick with it. Remember we are working in cycles. Study for 30 minutes then breaks for 5. Then reset your timer and start again when your break is over.
- So use this method to study for 2 hours max, then give yourself a longer break. Like 30 minutes or so. Then jump back into another set.
- If you finish early then keep going, don’t stop studying.
How to make the Pomodoro method more engaging?
Okay, I will be honest, the Pomodoro method is cool by itself, but it can really be an amazing tool in your study life if you add a couple of tweaks.
Use a productivity timer app during your sessions.
Using a productivity timer app helps so much with these sessions. I list a few of them in my post, Best Productivity Apps to Improve Your Study Session.
These apps are great for those of you who don’t want a lot of noise, but still need a little extra motivation.
Use white noise music or lofi-music
So recently I’ve stopped using music with words during my study sessions. I read somewhen that when there is music playing, especially when it is music with words, your brain will be split between the two task. One is processing the music and the other is processing your work.
So a way around this is to use white noise music. This is your rainforest sounds or rainy night music. Search on YouTube rainy night and you will get a plethora of musical choices. I particularly like the “rainy night at Hogwarts” videos and Hawaiian music. The “Avatar The Last Air Bender” and the “Naruto” lofi-music mixes are good too.
Watch other people’s Pomodoro style study-with-me videos, while you study.
I’m going to be very honest and let y’all know that when it gets to the halfway point in the semester, I tend to lack the motivation to do anything. And I often have to battle myself to study.
So as a way to combat this, I will often times search for people’s Pomodoro study with me videos on youtube. And I will study with them. I really like the live sessions, because I feel like I have someone to study with. Also, I mentioned watching studying with me videos before in my How to Find Motivation to Study Korean post. So this is an old tried and true trick I use.
Personally, I just really like the idea of studying with others, and it helps to keep me focused during my study sessions.
I hope this post was able to help some people looking to find out more information about the Pomodoro method. I hope it helped to motivate you to study and be sure to check out part 2 of my post.
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