Pomodoro technique: it squashes the procrastination

In previous entrances I have spoken of what it is the procrastination and of an organic cause that it pushes to delay tasks to us that they dislike to us, the activation of cerebral areas related to the pain.

It is a lightening to know that a real cause for the malaise exists that we felt when there is to study. That knowledge can serve as stimulus to even stop delaying tasks (it served to me). Nevertheless, in many occasions we will continue feeling an enormous laziness to put to us to study, and it is necessary an incentive more, or some special technique.

A good stimulus: to have the examination around the corner. Arg! But for me it is an imperfect stimulus, since my intention in this blog is to obtain that the students enjoy more the study and to learn, and prepare better their examinations, and for that he is advisable to begin to study in time.


When you do not have the examination close, a technique that works without doubt is the Pomodoro technique. It was invention of Italian Francesco Cirillo by the end of years 1980 and it is called thus because the author used a mechanical clock of kitchen with tomato form (€œpomodoro€ in Italian) when she was university student.

Pomodoro means a period of time of 25 minutes during which it works uninterruptedly in the task which you have decided to take to end. In the case of a university student: to read, to write up schemes, to make memorization cards (flashcards), that is to say, any activity related to the study.

After those 25 minutes, a pause becomes of 5 minutes for any moved away activity of the study (to eat, to drink, to look out of the window or to dive by Internet). After 4 pomodoros a prolonged pause is made (15-20 minutes).

All the pomodoros are registered in writing, which gives a profit sensation and provides data objectives to analyze our ability to work. It is indispensable condition during pomodoro for avoiding any interruption; if it appears, it is written down quickly and it is continued working. In a working environment, it is easy that they interrupt to you. But you are a young student and you are in your quarter of study or in the library, you are not deceived, the interruptions will come from you mismo/a. So, it silences the mobile, extinguishes whattsapp, it only closes your e-mail€¦ during 25 minutes.

It is important, as Barbara Oakley in its book To Mind For Numbers recommends: How to Excel AT Math and Science (Even If You Flunked Algebra)(affiliate connection, thanks), that during pomodoro you concentrate in the routine, not in the objective. That is to say, you do not demand yourself to memorise in that short while a guaranteed amount of text. You are only going to study with your habitual technique, reading, emphasizing, writing on paper, etc. Wanting to secure a concrete objective is what can cause to you to pain and rejection, and make you procrastinar. On the contrary, to our brain it likes the routine and it does not feel threatened by her.


You can use an awakener anyone or the timer of your mobile. You can use a kitchen clock, there are them very cheap and they are sold in any article store of the home. They are noisy, but Cirillo affirms that to start up these clocks it favors the commitment with one same one, and tic-TAC can be motivating.

If you wish it, some software uses to control your rests. I recommend a gratuitous program here to you called Eyes Relax that you can unload in the following connection, or.  You can modify the rest and working times according to your preferences. The very useful encounter when I am working with the computer, reviewing texts of the work, investigation, writing for the blog, preparing classes, etc. This program warns to you with a sonorous signal of when the moment arrives for resting and when the moment for returning to the screen, and even puts the black screen during the pause of rest, so that you do not have doubts that the moment has arrived for relaxing.


If 25 minutes it seems to you just a short time, you can prolong it something more. But I do not recommend to you that you abuse, because the grace of pomodoro is in working intensely, thing simpler to fulfill during a short period of time. It remembers that pomodoro looks for to debilitate the anxiety related to happening of the time and serves as motivating as the effort. If sufficiently calm and you are motivated as studying during 1 or 2 hours, you do not need pomodoros.

Another option is to shorten the rests. In my case, I like to work during 25 minutes and to take rests from 2 minutes to rise to me and to walk a little by the house, with the purpose of activating my physiology and to avoid drowsiness (my intolerance to caffein does not allow to drink coffee to maintain me to me wakes up).

The use of pomodoros can help you to calculate how long you need to study a subject of a concrete subject, and thus to determine the time that you will need to prepare an examination.


To rest the eyes! When it studied the MIR I began to notice ocular annoyances after taking several hours studying. It mainly consisted of ocular pain and difficulties to by far see with clarity, as if it suffered a sudden myopia. After the night rest it disappeared.

When I could consult with an ophtalmologist I found out that one was about a ciliary spasm or the accomodation. The excess of hours inverted in studying, using the near vision without rest, caused a tear of the ciliary muscles that was only alleviated resting several hours.

With the passage of the years it can appear this acomodativo spasm with less hours of study. At the moment, two hours followed of computer leave me so myopic that until I see blurred the food in the plate. But, with the use of pomodoros, this problem is resolute.

If you try to look at far during the rests between pomodoros, although it is 2 minutes, the muscles of the eyes relaxes the sufficient thing as continuing working without problems all a day. It is enough with looking more at a distance of 3 meters or, or closing the eyes. This he has been another one more of the benefits of the Pomodoro technique for me.



On the technique of the Pomodoro: http://homominimus.com/2010/10/01/tecnica-del-pomodoro/

On the spasm of the accomodation: http://ocularis.es/blog/la-falsa-miopia/


Almudena Trinidad

I am otorrinolaring³loga doctor in a hospital of Madrid and Professor Asociada de Medicina in the UAM. I help Medicine students to develop more effective techniques of study to obtain better notes, to remember during more time and to feel like more happy insurances and with its studies.

20 Commentaries
  • FS
    Published to 20:14 h, 08 January To respond

    I do not know how to thank to you. I am in 6º of race and from the passed course, it vetoes that is to say why, my mind is blocked in such a way that I am INCAPABLE to put to me to study, nor still having the examination around the corner. There am lost the certainty that I have had from baccalaureate.
    I have attributed it to the fatigue, not only physical but also mental, that the medicine race produces, but still to day of today, although it seems that the pocket is surpassed little by little, itself without knowing the exact reason that she prevented me to study. He was not vaguer­a, was not lack of appetite, it is that he was psychologically incapable to study, and not because no longer wanted to be doctor. I do not see myself being another thing.
    Now I see that perhaps it was (and it to a certain extent continues being, not yet I see myself as formerly) a defence mechanism of my own body.
    I believe that this technique is going to help to me to return much to take a routine and to surpass the fear that to me the examinations produce.
    And I thank again to you because, until now, it had not found anything (I have proven many things) that considered that it went to really help to me.
    Thanks, thanks.
    I go away right now to unloading the program and proving the technique.

    • Almudena Trinidad
      Published to 22:40 h, 08 January To respond

      Thank you very much to comment. It cheers to me enormously that the blog helps you.

      With certain frequency blockades can be produced during the studies. They are many years of constant work and tips of tension and stress in the examinations. Our system implies a form of learning that at moments is unnatural, with those long ones seating of theoretical study, almost always with classes in slides€¦ Few practices, little movement, little TO MAKE and SEE much DO, mainly in Medicine. That produces passivity, and the sensation of which one same one little can make control the studies, except for sitting down to swallow information when it touches.

      Other times happen things in our life that, simply, will disperse to us. Although they are not bad. If you have malaise in other areas of life is necessary to fix them. If it is only in the study, I recommend to you that you are proving new things. Not many simultaneously, 1 or only 2. To implant new habits can require of will force, and the will force demands much cost of energy. It awards your pomodoros during the rests with which it desires much to you (chocolate, a refreshment) and you will spend less energy.

      If a day more you are concentrated and you do not need pomodoro, you do not use it. It is a method to your service and not the other way around. It sees water, my friend. 😉

      A greeting!

  • Marian
    Published to 21:31 h, 08 January To respond

    In my opinion it is of the best techniques than I have found to put to me to do something that really costs to me much to do, as a very long or very dense subject, because I know that after 25 minutes intense there is an oasis to take air before following.
    It is truth that when you have sufficient motivation it is not necessary this technique, but to fourth month period principle that to all costs to us more to put to us or when something is made us very uphill is a wonder, at least for me.
    Thanks for all the advice, the truth is that they are very useful and in addition animates to see that I am not the unique one in the world to which it costs to him to sit down during hours in front of the notes, that are the sensation that gives a little during the race!
    A greeting.

    • Almudena Trinidad
      Published to 22:18 h, 08 January To respond

      The only one? What goes, to all it costs to us. No matter how much you like something, when there is to study it at the moment that does not desire to you, or many followed hours, is required more than will force.
      A greeting and thanks to comment!

  • Susana
    Published to 14:51 h, 05 February To respond

    Very good advice. he passes the same to me, when he studied not only I remain myopic, if not that this also entails backaches not to change of position, one even forgets to me to go to the bathroom or to drink water, which is not good. I believe that the guilty are the hyperattention states (or flow). Here they give advice to end them: http://tdahvitoriagasteiz.com/2013/06/24/cuatro-simples-pasos-para-romper-con-la-hiperatencion-negativa/

    • Almudena Trinidad
      Published to 13:16 h, 07 February To respond

      Yes, one causes can be that you do not know €œto take off itself€ than you are doing because you are in that state. The entrance is interesting, although I see that it is applied to adults with upheaval by attention-hyperactivity deficit. But it is possible to be applied to all type of people.
      Another cause could simply be the laziness. Some people the physical movement does not attract to them, immediately. Although they know that it is good for moving and for stretching, gives laziness them and the excuse to have much to study can be sufficient not to make rests.

  • Susana
    Published to 17:53 h, 07 February To respond

    jajaja! You have pillaged to me. I found that entrance looking for information about the deficit of attention in the adult. Many tests indicate that he is that what it happens to me. In short, apparently the thin line that separates the normality of the abnormality turns out not to be so thin.

    • Almudena Trinidad
      Published to 09:17 h, 08 February To respond

      It defines normality€¦ 😉 But not you autodiagnostiques. That it does it an expert and soon already you see what do.

  • andres
    Published to 02:17 h, 30 September To respond

    Where I can obtain the book. Barbara Oakley. To Mind For Numbers: How to Excel AT Math and Science (Even If You Flunked Algebra) to unload?

    • Almudena Trinidad
      Published to 15:54 h, 30 September To respond

      Hello, Andres. I do not know if the book is hacked into and hung in some Web. Frankly, I hope that no, because it is a very useful book done very well and costs little money for the value that contains.

      It does few Barbara Oakley months counted how it recorded the videos for the first edition of its course (hung in http://www.coursera.org). She herself bought the material and she at home recorded them with the help of its family.

      If you want to buy it in Amazon, I have some connection of affiliate in the blog. If you do not want to use that connection, directly look for it by that title in Amazon.

      A greeting and thanks to happen through the blog.

  • Carolina Barrera
    Published to 04:44 h, 04 January To respond

    Your post enchanted to me, is the first time that I read to you but I was fascinated. I am going to try it, until I unloaded the program of Eyes Relax jajaja, we are going to see how it goes to me! I hope that well because I have examination in next weeks: (. It enchanted to me to read to you, I believe that I will follow your blog 😀

    • Almudena Trinidad
      Published to 09:10 h, 04 January To respond

      Thank you very much, Carolina. I hope that they help to other articles of the blog 🙂 you If you need direction, you do not doubt in requesting it by the blog. To see if other students also cheer up to give advice. 😉

  • Luis
    Published to 10:11 h, 19 January To respond

    Then I am student of Computer science Engineering and these techniques and advice are coming to me wonderfully, I have put it in practice mainly in this examination period of January, and the truth that I take it rather well, mainly because are days in which beams another thing different not to be in the writing-desk.

    It would enchant to me to continue using this technique the rest of the year, but it arises a doubt to me:

    As they will know, the European credits of the Bologna plan advise to spend 10 working hours by subject weekly (this is 7 personal working hours by 3 hours that we give of class the week) to take the subject excellently.

    My doubt comes in knowing if I dedicate to the right net time by subject, that is to say, about 17 pomodoros (if exempt 5 minutes 7 hours net of study are right) or can allow to dedicate to him less pomodoros me, since equivalence in time is not the same, but in productivity perhaps can be the same that in 7 hours.

    It well-known truth that in 25 minutes hiper-centered I do more than in 25 minutes normal, for that reason I would like I to know how long is equivalent the effectiveness of 1 pomodoro or how I can measure my productivity.

    I congratulations give also by the others posts You of the blog, until for the engineers as I come to us very well!

    a Greeting!

    • Almudena Trinidad
      Published to 18:30 h, 19 January To respond

      Thank you very much, Luis! I am glad much as which they are serving articles to you of the blog.
      With respect to the equivalence of credits ECTS in terms of personal work, I believe that he is something subjective and variable, not only between people, but in a same person at different moments. 1 credit ECTS is equivalent to 25-30 working hours (including classes, personal study and examinations). Expressed thus, it is not very clear to how much work corresponds. A student mine calculated that by hourly class she needed to work 2 hours at home, but in my experience that depends on the quality of the notes that has taken and the concrete difficulty of each subject.

      The unit of measurement that I have used lately is pomodoro in himself. I know that I need 4 followed pomodoros to advance in the article writing, but that I cannot work more than 5 followed by the intensity of the effort. In order to write an article of the blog, I need 4-5 pomodoros, generally in different days. To know these numbers helps me to plan the work, but how much it renders each pomodoro also depends on the energy of every moment. In short, a complex subject.

      I recommend the blog to you of Tom Miller, http://www.wtfprofessor.com/. Of him I extracted the technique of inverse study applied to clinical cases. But you do not stop also happening to you through this blog€¦ 😉

  • Clara
    Published to 15:58 h, 21 February To respond

    Really interesting all posts
    Thank you very much

    • Almudena Trinidad
      Published to 13:30 h, 22 February To respond

      Thanks to you to pass through the blog 🙂

  • Madderphaqer
    Published to 10:13 h, 14 July To respond

    Good Blog, better advice.

    • Almudena Trinidad
      Published to 11:00 h, 14 July To respond

      Thanks, Julian 🙂

  • Ricardo
    Published to 03:17 h, 17 October To respond

    Hello, first it wanted to thank for you by your blog, much is valued the help and the good intentions. I write to you because like many half I am catched with the study, I have managed to order to me to study in time, but it follows without spreading to me, I feel that I do not learn the sufficient thing, I take myself but days to study but I do not retain it, never I have been to study of memory, changes to me of engineering to medicine, mine always were the numbers but they did not fascinate to me (that is another history jajaj), I have managed to leave ahead dragging, leaving of side many other things to me, but I do not want to follow thus. That what plays to me against they are the anxieties and with these they come negative putting itself, and that it is not so good for comparing itself, but next to my companions I occupy many but days of study and profit not to equal them (it costs to me much to memorise), and am arranged to continue doing it, I am convincing that all are able to do almost of everything, is only necessary to know how since to do it and there am my problem there jajaja, have proven pomodoro, letters and others, and indeed they work, but it is very difficult to maintain this type of study and rate of study when you begin the tests (and once they start off is not rested until the semester finishes), they force to let of side the daily study to me to be able to remove ahead the test that comes to the other day, if in this blog does not have entrances that I have not seen that they speak of this, but create to be half desperate, I cannot be given the luxury to reprobate a branch (thing which I am doing until now) and does not hold to me to write to you, that not that but to say, to only request help, sorry.

    PS: (i) one doubts, the attendance to classes you create is something necessary? (taking into account that many record the classes and send them next to ppt and that the going to the university takes 2 hours going me and 2 hour and a half of return)
    (II) pardon the bad spelling and writing jaja


    • Almudena Trinidad
      Published to 20:48 h, 10 March To respond

      Hello, Ricardo,

      I answer first the postscript 😉 the attendance class is necessary when you perceive that you assimilate the information by auditory route well, and that to listen to the class saves time to you of study. Question of which you test and you compare how long you take in understanding a subject of the two ways, attending class or no. is.

      I am in agreement with you in which it is very difficult to maintain some techniques of study when the examinations begin. However, he is crucial that you adopt ACTIVE techniques of memorization. That is to say, that you do not limit yourself to reread. You must assure to you that you are able to reproduce the learned thing somehow, reciting, in writing or taking a registry of questions.

      The memory and the forgetfulness have a particular physiology, and is clear that what is not reviewed with the sufficient frequency forgets. Therefore, you need a system that allows you to review the necessary thing to maintain the fresh knowledge, and that you are able to bring it to the conscience quickly. Flashcards is ideal for that (it is what flames letters). Hill to elaborate them and to stay to the day, but perhaps, if you save time of transport some days of the week, reaches to have enough time to maintain a basic number in each matter.

      At greater length of your situation it could orient to you better. Your writing is more than sufficient to understand to you, by the way 😉

      A greeting,

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