School is just around the corner, and so is the August Physician Licensure Exam for batch 2016! It’s time to get serious with studying!
Today I want to share with you a very effective studying technique that I just learned about and started using towards the end of med school. (How regretful!!)
I’m talking about the Pomodoro Technique, a simple focusing and time-management method that you should try next time you have a task that needs intense concentration and discipline. To know more about it, watch this video or keep on reading. 🙂
Subscribe to my Youtube channel if you haven’t yet. 🙂
HOW TO USE THE POMODORO TECHNIQUE
- Pick any task, but make it specific. Instead of just saying “study” or “do homework”, you can “go through 30 practice questions on Biochemistry”, “finish the outline of your English paper”, or “fix the bibliography and citations of your paper”. By the way, I also use this technique for non-study related tasks, like writing this blog entry for example!
Get a timer. Don’t rely on yourself to just check your watch every time. You can either use an alarm clock, a Pomodoro app, or websites such as Tomato-Timer.com. There are so many options but they all work just the same so don’t waste time finding the perfect app like what me and my friends did. Haha!
- Get rid of all distractions – WiFi, social media, chit chatty friends, distended bladders, etc.
Get started with your task and do it without fail for the next 25 minutes. Keep in mind that you only have that limited time so try your best to work with it instead of against it. If a distracting thought comes up, list it down and promise your subconscious you’ll get back to it later. If you feel like stopping for a while, convince yourself that “it’s just 25 minutes!”
When the timer goes off, take a 5 minute break. Stretch, listen to music, meditate, get a snack, attend to your list of distractions. Don’t open social media – we all know how that ends.
Repeat three more times. It sounds daunting, but believe me, that will be the most productive 2 hours you’ll ever spend. Believe it or not, there are some Study With Me videos on Youtube that employ this technique and they’re on it for 8 hours straight!
That’s it! Try it for yourself and feel free to modify it to what works for you. I’ve tried focusing for 50 minutes and enjoying a 10 minute break after, and it worked just as well. You can also do this simultaneously with your study buddies so that you can all be productive and non-distracting to each other.
Based on experience though, the Pomodoro Technique only works when you decide that you want it to work. After all, it’s YOUR willpower vs that inherent desire to watch random cat videos.
P.S. Or is that just me?
P.S. x2 I don’t even like cats.