How to read more by using Pomodoro Technique

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Fong-Wan Chau

I'm a medical doctor and a father from Chile. I write useful things that you may find interesting. Save me in your favorites!

I read a lot since I was a child, and much more since I started my university life. One of the problems I have faced is the exhaustion caused by continuous reading over a long period, and this happened quite often until I learned the Pomodoro Technique, which not only helped me concentrate for many more hours, but also increased my content retention.

Read more by using Pomodoro Technique: Enhance your stamina and content retentionImage credit: By courtesy and rights of Unsplash, uploaded by Ben White, used with modifications.

What is Pomodoro Technique about?

The Pomodoro Technique is a fairly simple method of time management that requires a timer. The technique consists of 5 steps:

  1. Set the timer to 25 minutes.
  2. Start working on the task.
  3. When the timer rings, place a check mark on a piece of paper.
  4. If you have fewer than 4 check marks, set the timer to 5 minutes and take a short break. If you have 4 check marks, set the timer to 15 minutes, reset the check marks count to zero, and take a long break.
  5. When the break time is over, repeat the cycle.

You can use Pomodoro in almost all tasks, and reading is one of them, but there are three important points to keep in mind:

  1. Focus and avoid distractions while reading, because when you are distracted, you not only spend your precious time in the distraction, you also need extra time to get back to where you left off.
  2. Avoid using your brain actively when you are on break time. So, what can you do during your break? You can meditate, go have a cup of coffee or tea, listen to music, stretch your body, do yoga, or do anything unrelated to the task.
  3. Start as soon as possible when the break time ends to maintain your continuity.

Why does Pomodoro Technique work?

All of this is related to your performance while you are studying. Bligh in 1998 described a performance pattern when students are having a lecture, where their performance and attention span decline over the course of the class with a gentle increase towards the end.

Study performance without breaks

This pattern is seen in almost all students, but when a rest or break is introduced between lectures, the student’s performance increase and attention is improved, even though it slope down again after a while.

Study performance with breaks

This is the reason behind Pomodoro. Pomodoro introduces short breaks as rewards to keep your attention and performance at an optimal level for much longer.

Convinced? Try it now!

Oh, please forgive my English. I'm still trying my best to learn it, so if there is any grammar error, just tell me so and I would correct it. You can always reach me by Twitter (@fongwan) or Facebook (fongwan.chau).


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