Nowadays we are busy with a lot of things at the same time. Many people (especially women) think they can get more things done by multitasking. You are watching your favourite series while you are cooking, and at the same time, you plan your appointments for this week in your agenda. Recognizable? Chances are you will miss an appointment or an important clue in the episode. By working three tasks at the same time, people think they work faster and more effectively. Unfortunately, that is not the case! Various studies have shown that you can focus better on one task at the time. This has to do with the fact that when you focus on something else, you end up doing tasks longer than normal.
The Pomodoro technique
Attention is one of the most important cognitive processes because this is the first step for all other cognitive processes such as memory and emotion. The smartphone nowadays is stuck to everyone's hand. Answering a message or phone call may only take you a few minutes, but it will also take you completely out of your concentration. Focus on one task, leave multitasking and your phone alone. Perhaps you have trouble focusing all your attention on one task, the Pomodoro technique might be a solution for you!
This technique is named by Fransisco Cirillo, he named it after the 'tomato alarm clock' (Italian). Cirillo was looking for a method that would allow him to work longer without losing his focus, so he decided to start a timer if he wanted to work very concentrated. In the time that he did this, he worked really hard for 25 minutes. Then he took a break of 5 minutes. During this break, he had a chat, walked around a bit or made some coffee. Then after the short break, he would continue to work in a focused way.
How you can apply this technique: set your alarm clock for 25 minutes. During these 25 minutes, you will work on a task, after that, you take a 5-minute break. After working concentrated for 4 blocks of 25 minutes, you’ll need a longer break of 20 to 30 minutes.
Why does the Pomodoro technique work?
Our brain needs time to start up and every time, you are disturbed, this process starts again. After all, the speed of our thinking is much faster than the speed we read or listen. The Pomodoro technique works with short time blocks (25 minutes), so you can concentrate much better. The alarm is set because it motivates you not to get distracted. And to make you realise 25 minutes of concentrated working isn’t that long.
An effective way to train and improve your focus and concentration is by playing concentration Brain Games, look for our brain games on our brain game page.
How good is your concentration? Do the test!