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I normally use the pomodoro technique when working on my own projects.

Now, I have an upcoming test. So I was wondering if I should use the pomodoro technique for studying as well.

Is the technique appropriate for use while studying?

Has anybody used it successfully for studying? If yes

  • Is the 25 min duration OK or do you need to tweak it
  • Are there any pit falls using the technique for studying
  • Are there any additional requirements?
  • Most importantly: did it help you?
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I found pomodoro technique effective when studying more practical subjects but in most other cases it was interfering with the tasks at hand. Here is why:

  1. Breaks act as a distraction
    • it's difficult to grasp the idea if you study it in two runs
    • they prevent being sucked by the subject and forgetting about time
  2. More tiring
    • after 4 hours of studying longer break is needed anyway but with pomodoro 4 hours includes around half an hour of breaks
    • focusing on time makes you perceive every hour as lasting longer
  3. It made me focus more on time spent studying than the effects
    • when studying with pomodoro I was thinking about the number of runs left
    • with pomodoro, I've rarely studied more than planned
    • when studying in usual way I would usually done when I finished the topic or really needed a longer break
    • sometimes I was getting momentum making me study much more then usually

Still, if studying in your case means practicing certain skills then pomodoro would probably be helpful. At least it was the case for me when I could accomplish at average at least one task per pomodoro run and when I already understood underlying theory.

To me pomodoro is similar to music. It helps you get decent pace in tasks that need a bit less focus but it distracts you when you really need to wrap you head around some ideas or memorize stuff.

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