Stories from our international boarding schools

Have you heard of the Pomodoro technique?

Finding a study technique that works for you is key for productivity. It might take some trial and error, but when you find a structure that you like, your study sessions will gain both quality and efficiency.

Find your technique

As with most things, the way we like to study is individual. Some prefer to study while listening to music, others need complete silence to concentrate. There are those who take a visual approach to learning, drawing mind maps and making color schemed collages, and those who like to put everything in writing. Whichever method you prefer, an important factor for all types of studying is time management. This is where the Pomodoro technique comes in.

If you speak Italian or are a fan of Italian cuisine, you know that “pomodoro” is Italian for tomato. So why, you might ask, is this study technique named after a vegetable? The technique was named after the tomato-shaped timer found in kitchens all over the world, and why the timer is relevant will become clear very soon.

Against the clock

The Pomodoro technique is a time management method that can be used for practically any task where you need to focus and get work done, like studying. The idea is simple, break your studying into 25-minute sessions with 5-minute breaks in between. Each study session is referred to as 1 pomodoro and after completing 4 pomodoros, you take a longer break of 15-20 minutes before starting over. Of course, any timer works for this, no need to find a tomato-timer, just use your phone or watch! At first, you might feel like you could easily continue studying for a bit more when the timer goes off, but consistency is key, so make sure to stick to the technique.

No time for procrastination

If you’ve ever suffered from procrastination (who hasn’t?), this technique might prove especially useful for you. Working against a timer creates a sense of urgency and makes you aware that you are working towards a goal, instead of feeling like you have the whole day to get your tasks done. Also, the 5-minute breaks between pomodoros are just enough time to get up and move a bit and grab something to drink, but not too long to bring you out of your concentration zone.

Work for the reward

Working in 25-minute intervals and knowing that a break is waiting for you helps you focus entirely on your task. Rather than being semi-focused for hours, distracted by scrolling on your phone or chatting with friends, you spend 25 minutes in efficient, focused study mode. It also feels much better to take a small break knowing you’ve actually been productive and committed to your work.

So, next time you sit down to study for your next exam or essay, give the Pomodoro technique a try!


At EF Academy, we prepare students for success by working with them to discover and develop their strengths and by providing them with an academic environment where they can thrive.

Learn more about EF Academy's approach to learning Explore

Share this article

Latest articles from Academics