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That 5 minute break seems incomplete

What I do normally in that 5 minute break is write a question like this, check email... other online stuffs. I don't want to leave the seat and I don't.

Also it is not like I can't resist browsing more, in fact I will get back to work right on time unless and until I got less work and I don't even use a timer. But, that break seems (out of better words) incomplete


About a week back I started preparing for a very important exam that will be held after few months.

I am a full time employee and I travel far to and forth from office. I get about 2 hours of free time to study at home.

I tried the pomodoro technique with studying too and I barely finished a chapter :( , at this rate I will never finish the syllabus on time

Am I doing something wrong here? or just that this technique is not applicable in every situation?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

As with all productivity systems, one size does not fit all. As I just wrote yesterday in this post, the key is PRODUCTIVITY, not SYSTEM. If the system you're using doesn't make you feel productive, try something else.

For me, I think less about Pomodor's 25/5 rule than I do its INTENT--taking breaks to allow your mind & body to briefly rejuvenate. When I study, I read a chapter, then I get up and do something DIFFERENT. Usually made more coffee. Then again, other times I've been really engaged in a textbook and I read two or three chapters in one sitting. It all depends on your working style and where your head is at a given moment.

My rule of thumb is that I try to break up my tasks into half-hour-ISH chunks, then take a break for a few minutes. Then back to work. If I find myself distracted during one of the half-hour-ish chunks, distracted to the point that I know I won't be effective, I'll take a break or a twenty-minute power nap.

I think that if you pay attention to and understand your working style and have a clear picture of when and HOW you're most productive, you can mix and match techniques from all kinds of productivity systems to create the one that's the most effective to you.

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at this rate I will never finish the syllabus on time

I can bet taking 5 minute break will not going to affect your schedule. On the other hand, it will keep your brain more active and focused. The focus time span of brain is limited. You cannot keep focused on something for a longer time (unless it's a pressing issue). When you take a break, you actually give it time to process the information that it just grabbed and store it more permanently.

Adjust your pomodoro time somewhere between 20 minute to 40 minute depending your focus time span and take a break of 5 to 7 minute. If the chapters are big, divide it into parts rather than reading all chapters in one sitting.

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