If you have many things to do within a short timeframe, you’re probably thinking of which tasks to prioritise and how much time you’ll need to complete each task – just how many hours do you have in a day, again? But what does effective time management have to do with tomatoes? “Pomodoro” means tomato in Italian, and although it may seem a far cry from studying, it may have a lot more in common with your Secondary Biology tuition homework than you’d think. Let’s find out what the Pomodoro Technique is and how it can help you manage your study time better, giving you the most out of your Secondary Biology tuition.
How the Pomodoro Technique Works
The Pomodoro Technique got its name from a tomato-shaped kitchen timer. Developed by a university student, Francesco Cirillo, the technique is designed to divide your study session into small units of time called pomodoros. The technique, simply put, is as follows:
- Sit down with a to-do list and a timer. Any timer will do, it doesn’t have to be tomato-shaped!
- Set your timer for 25 minutes and start working on the first task on your list for the duration of the timer.
- Once the timer rings, stop your work and record what you’ve completed so far. This counts as one pomodoro.
- Set your timer for five minutes and take a rest.
- Repeat steps 1 to 4 for a total of four pomodoros, which should take you two hours. Once you’re done with all four, take a longer break of 15-30 minutes.
That’s all there is to the Pomodoro Technique! Of course, there are several guidelines recommended by the best Biology tuition that can really help you make the most out of each pomodoro.
Guidelines of the Pomodoro Technique
Break Down Large Tasks
Understandably, not every task can fit into a 25-minute window, especially for Biology tuition O-level students. In this situation, you should split large tasks down into multiple pomodoros. If you have a 2-hour research paper to complete, divide those 120 minutes by 25 and you’ll get 5 pomodoro sessions to complete the paper – with 5 minutes to spare. This can help you get started on a large task and make it seem less daunting by breaking it down into smaller, bite-size sessions.
Plan Your Day Realistically
To be even more productive, the best Biology tuition recommends listing your tasks for the day before you start on any pomodoro. Make a note of how many pomodoros each task will take, so that you have a rough idea of how your day will look like. Ensure that you do not squeeze too many pomodoros into each day to avoid overbooking yourself. For instance, if you have eight hours to work in a day, you could technically complete 16 pomodoros – but it may be a good idea to schedule 12 to 14 pomodoros instead and leave yourself some buffer time for unexpected events, such as an urgent errand or a surprise house guest. Even if you end up not needing the spare time, it’s usually better to end the day with everything off your list than to overschedule yourself and have to play catch-up the next day.
Keep Strictly to the Pomodoro Timing
To make your study session as fruitful as possible, it goes without saying that all distractions should be kept aside and your focus should be fully on your work. This means that you can’t stop your timer halfway through the 25 minutes to answer texts, phone calls, emails, or chat with a friend. Suddenly remembered something unrelated to your current task? Jot it down on a notepad and keep it out of your mind until your 25 minutes are up. Of course, some disruptions may be unavoidable, such as having to answer the doorbell or experiencing a power trip. If something unavoidable does come up, skip the pomodoro and take your five-minute break. Then, start afresh on your 25-minute task after your break.
Don’t Waste Overflow Time
If you finish your task in less than 25 minutes, you may be tempted to cut the pomodoro short and jump straight to your break. However, it is important to keep to the timing so that your mind can adjust to working in 25-minute intervals. Use your spare time to read up on other material, widen your scope of knowledge, or research something. We encourage our Biology tuition O-level students to keep a list of tasks they can use their spare pomodoro time for.
Try Out Different Pomodoro Lengths
Not everyone functions optimally with a 25-minute session and a 5-minute break. Some people may feel that 25 minutes is too short, while others may feel it is too long. You can always try to vary your work session and break lengths to see which combination is perfect for you.