Studying 25 to 5 – the importance of being distracted to effective study

It’s good to take a break and do something completely different.  It resets your concentration, stops you getting stressed and makes for an effective working pattern.  One popular technique first established in the 1980s is the “Pomodoro Technique” (named after the tomato shaped cooking timer used by its inventor, pomodoro being Italian for tomato) which comprises working towards a specific goal for 25 minutes and then changing activity to something completely different for 5 minutes to reset your concentration.  Go for a walk, get a drink, colour something in, pick up your origami project, stretch at your desk – the activity is less important than that you are moving about and focusing your mind on a totally different task so that you can return to learning afresh for another productive 25 minute stint.

Click Read more for our favourite examples of five minute breaks you can use throughout the day.  Do you have a favourite distraction activity we have not thought of?  Let us know in the comments below.

Five minute wonders

Mindful colouring – there is a UoPLibrary colouring book and #ColorMyArtstor pictures available and if that is not enough, you can download and print dozens more designs, or even colour them online!

Take up origami – all you need is a sheet of paper and a handy online tutorial.  Do share your successes with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram (@UopLibrary).

Engage in online jigsaw puzzles – while it does not rest your eyes from staring at a screen, trying to complete an online jigsaw puzzle is certainly diverting.

Visit the world outside – nothing beats getting outside or crossing the road to the Sports Centre and indulging in some relaxing exercise.  Balance, in study as in the rest of life, is key.

Assistant Librarian (Promotions) at the University Library. An enthusiastic advocate of libraries, diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice for all, inside and outside the workplace.

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