Not all study hours are created equal.
In our age of digital distraction, being able to focus while studying is an important skill. One of the most efficient ways to do this is through the Pomodoro Method.
A fundamental idea in study skills: the quality of your study is much more important than the quantity. Work smart. Most people who study do it poorly, stopping frequently to check their phone, glance at the tv, or pause for snacks.
Each time you check an SMS on your phone, it takes a full minute to restore focus. The same goes for email. Consequently, when most of us sit down to study for an hour, we’re actually studying for an effective 20 or 30 minutes.
The Pomodoro Method is based on the use of an alarm clock. One sets the alarm clock for a period of time – perhaps around 25 minutes. After the alarm rings, you must stop what you’re doing and take a break.
This method is based on the limitations of the human mind. The average person can focus for about 25 minutes; after that time concentration quickly wanes. (Of course this time period is only an average: it might be 15 minutes for you, or it might be 40. Try to pay attention to what feels right for you.) Only a 5-minute beak is sufficient to return you to full learning capacity.
But while you’re studying, you are only studying. No using your phone, chatting to the person beside you, or checking Facebook.
Quality, not quantity.