Easier than the Pomodoro technique: Time Blocks Techniques

Study Arata! If you’re the kind of person who begins to study and quickly gets distracted, thinking about something else to do, constantly checking the latest on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat… This video is for you. You’ll learn how to be more disciplined when studying with the time blocks technique.

Begin with baby steps

If you were already following us, you must know that I’m always saying this: baby steps. You should be more modest and humble when defining your goals. Start off with what’s easy and think about the long term.

You don’t need to do everything perfectly today. When you establish something that’s very difficult, the chances of failing and losing motivation are quite big.

That’s why you will establish, let’s say, three minutes of concentration in one only subject at study time. You’ll turn off your phone, open the stopwatch and set three minutes. That’s the time you’ll dedicate to that subject.

When the phone rings, you’ll realise that you have studied that only subject for three minutes. Congratulate yourself and define the net goal.

Well, I guess you are able to set 5 minutes to study this subject, right? Then do set those 5 minutes and go study. When the phone rings, you can reflect if you really studied for 5 minutes or if you were distracted thinking about something else.

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Don’t panic if you failed: you have found an appropriate level of difficulty for yourself. Take a step back and try to study for four minutes.

Repeat this process and check if your concentration level is between this range of three to five minutes.

The point is to repeat this experiment with other time blocks and subjects. Some people feel okay studying easier or more familiar content for 30 or 40 minutes. There are other people who have trouble with new things, and end up studying in blocks of 10 minutes for new contents.

There can also be some situations in which, depending on the day, you’ll focus more, or less. If you have just had lunch, you’re sleepy, and go study, maybe you’ll need smaller time blocks.

If you are extremely motivated, focused, you feel like studying and there’s nobody who can distract you – it may be possible for you to extend your time blocks and even focus for 50 minutes on one subject.

Some people will say that I’m describing the Pomodoro Technique; of which I talked about previously on this channel. In case you’re curious, just click on the link.

There are some differences in this time blocks technique: specially in this video, I’d like you to learn who to define your ideal time block.

Oh, and you’re not supposed to take a break in between the blocks, like with the Pomodoro technique – if you successfully finished a time block, you can go on. At this point, it would be interesting to establish how big your next time block will be – more than three minutes? Great!

Bonus Tip

Every time I’m studying something, at the end of the day, I make a reflection about how it went. I’d like to share this tip with you: ask yourself and be conscious about how was your study day.

Were you studying well and someone interrupted you? Is this subject so difficult because you’re missing content or is it because it’s actually a very complex matter? Would it be interesting to take a step back and establish a shorter time block? Or should I make it longer?

The point is to reflect about yourself so you can improve. I talked a bit about this in our first video of this series, Study Arata.

Oh, I should warn you about this tip: only make this reflection at the end of the day. You wouldn’t want to get distracted by this kind of question in the middle of your study time. You can only annalise yourself once, at the end of the day.

This way, you’ll ensure that you’re not wasting time planning your study times, and you’re actually spending it on studying.

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This is the philosophy I teach at How To Learn Faster: there are a lot of techniques, speculations, forms and formulas so we can improve the way we study.

A lot of people procrastinate all day watching videos on how to learn in a better way. That’s not my purpose here – our course was built straight-forward, so you can finish off the course in one day and put it into practice.
Here’s the link to get more information about the program.