UPSC and Time Management: Can the Pomodoro Technique Help?

Preliminary, main, and interview rounds make up the UPSC exams. While there are several prestigious coaching facilities that can help with exam preparation, some UPSC hopefuls favour independent study. There are numerous success tales of IAS aspirants who relied completely on self-study to obtain a high rank.

The UPSC exams evaluate both your knowledge and attitude. Therefore, it’s crucial to maintain a positive attitude as you prepare for your self-study. You can successfully complete the curriculum and prepare by being persistent, disciplined, and driven.

We acknowledge that the UPSC exam might become intimidating for some, however overcoming these challenges will make you stand out from the competition. Avoid putting things off and use your time wisely to get the most out of it.

Time Management in UPSC Preparation

  • In terms of CSE preparation, time management is crucial both for the preparation process and for the preliminaries and main exams. In an exam setting, one is required to demonstrate what they have learned while studying.
  • One could frequently find it challenging to concentrate on job in our fast-paced world. Apps for productivity during UPSC preparation are useful in this situation. These apps are aimed at increasing daily productivity and simplifying life.
  • They range from managing your schedule to organising meetings and taking notes. But because everyone is unique, no software can meet everyone’s demands.
  • There may be a lot of options available if you open Google Play Store on your Android device and navigate to the “Productivity” area; choosing the option that best meets your needs may require further pointless scrolling. 

What is the Pomodoro Technique for Time Management?

  • Pomodoro is a well-known time management method that increases productivity by dividing work into 25 minute focused work sessions interspersed with brief breaks. Pomodoro can be one of your best options if you need to improve your time management abilities.
  • Although it is fairly simple to follow, it also has a high rate of success. The straightforward Pomodoro approach, if millions of prosperous people throughout the world are to be believed, consistently guarantees great outcomes.
  • To use the Pomodoro, all you need is a standard kitchen timer and the desire to enhance your time management abilities. But do not be deceived by the method’s apparent simplicity. It works far better than it appears to.
  • Francesco Grillo proposed the Pomodoro technique as a way to improve time management in the 1980s. The Italian word for tomato is pomodoro. You might now be wondering how time management connects to the tomato.
  • Tomato kitchen timers, which were employed in the past for time interval tracking in the kitchen, are the source of the correlation. The technique’s name has persisted even though the timers have altered since then.
  • The strength of this method rests in its ability to maximise the use of your time by allowing you to flow with the procedure rather than fighting it.
  • No matter how you define the optimum level of productivity, using the strategy will allow you to inch closer to your objectives every time.

How Does the Pomodoro Technique Work for UPSC Aspirants?

Francesco Cirillo created the Pomodoro technique, a well-known productivity method, in the late 1980s. A straightforward timer that sounds after 25 minutes is the Pomodoro kitchen timer. While he was working, Cirillo employed this timer to sharpen his attention and divide his workload into digestible chunks of time.

  • The Pomodoro technique is very effective because it enables distraction-free time management and task completion. It is also advantageous because it encourages you to practise discipline and consider your job.
  • You can work in brief sessions with brief pauses using the Pomodoro approach. As you finish chores using this time management method, you feel accomplished, which can increase your desire and drive.
  • This method is intended to reduce multitasking and boost focus. Multitasking is considerably harder than it appears to be, and it also makes you distracted and worn out. The Pomodoro technique is a powerful and easy method that encourages you to concentrate on one job at a time.

How many Pomodoros can you do in a day?

  • When you first start off, you should only take three Pomodoros each day. These three projects can be worked on, or you can work on one larger activity and divide it into three smaller tasks.
  •  The Pomodoro Technique can also be used to divide a larger work into multiple smaller ones. Once you feel at peace with this technique, you might try upping your daily Pomodoros to six or eight.
  • But bear in mind that you shouldn’t attempt to do too many of them in a single day. If you discover that you are overburdened with tasks, take it slower.
  • Doing fewer jobs properly is preferable to doing many ones poorly. If necessary, slow down and concentrate on finishing fewer jobs well.

Can The Pomodoro Technique Help in UPSC CSE Preparation? 

  • For remote work, the Pomodoro technique is extremely helpful. It might be challenging to manage your time without a daily routine as more businesses move toward remote work.
  • The Pomodoro technique can help you concentrate better and manage distant work. This is due to the fact that it gives your workday a distinct framework. It also offers a distinct final result to strive for.
  • Deep work can be challenging when there is a lot of outside noise, and the Pomodoro technique is a terrific approach to increase attention.

For prelims –

It is imperative to practise mock exams and previous year’s papers, and one might come up with a plan to make sure that all questions are answered. The information below would be helpful in developing one’s own strategy:

1. Ask only direct inquiries if you already know the answer without having to think or analyse it.

2. To try those where drawing conclusions from one’s understanding is necessary.

3. Attempting questions that call for educated guesses or where one can eliminate two alternatives and be certain that the correct answer is one of the two remaining options.

4. Avoid wasting time trying to answer issues that are too difficult or that require specialised expertise.

For Mains –

UPSC periodically alters its patterns. The pattern was modified this year(2017) as well because there was a new word restriction for questions and a different grading system.

1. Since these types of questions are only asked in GS papers or optionals, it is important to understand how long it takes to write a 150, 200, 250, or 300 word limit question.

2.  With this in mind, one may split the three hours according to the kinds of questions seen in written exams.

3.  To answer every question without lowering the standard, practise is necessary.

4. Writing in points enables one to include more context, information, viewpoints, and opinions within the world limit specified for any topic.

Significance of Pomodoro Technique for UPSC Exam Preparation

  • Pomodoro as a stand-alone exercise has enormous potential to aid anyone with improved concentration and maximising daily productivity.
  • Contrary to popular assumption, procrastination is not primarily caused by laziness, according to experts.
  • It occurs because of a propensity to fight off negative mental processes. For the majority of us, a challenging task or an extended exercise might be frightening.
  • However, binge-watching your favourite show releases a wave of pleasant hormones into your bloodstream and brain, making it challenging to focus on the task at hand.
  • Pomodoro addresses these fundamental emotional conflicts at their source and enables you to create better habits that will benefit you over the long term.

Strategy to effectively use Pomodoro Technique for UPSC Exam Preparation

  • Choose a business with a set schedule: It is preferable to work for a company that has five working days and a set eight to nine-hour shift. This gives you the opportunity to study for six hours every day, Monday through Friday, and roughly ten hours per weekend. If you do this for a year, you can finish the extensive syllabus.
  • Divide your study time into slots: Toppers such as Shahenshah IPS, Saurabh Bhuwania IAS, and Pujya Priyadarshini IAS have consistently divided their time between ‘before work’ and ‘after work’ studies. If you are an early riser, you can save roughly 2-3 hours in the morning rather than six hours after a long day at work. To save time, many toppers have suggested reading up on current events when travelling.
  • Understand your syllabus well: Mark the topics with which you are familiar and those with which you are unfamiliar. Divide the curriculum into manageable sections and prioritise them in order. Gather the necessary study materials for the syllabus and begin studying them in the correct order.
  • You should not study while working: One of the blunders that aspirants make is trying to study while working. While at the office, you must always be focused on completing the day’s tasks. The sooner you finish your workplace tasks, the more time you will have to study at home.
  • Exercise is essential: It is critical that your entire day does not consist just of working and learning. Taking care of your health is essential to ensuring that you can continue long-term UPSC preparation. After work, a walk in the park would be an excellent way to transition from work mode to study mode.
  • Observe common time management strategies: We struggle constantly with good time management. The majority of UPSC candidates use the Pomodoro technique. The Pomodoro technique is a time management strategy that divides work into 25-minute sessions to help you stay focused and complete more work. It was created by consultant Francesco Cirillo. Simply set a timer, do the activity in 25 minutes, and reward yourself with a 5-minute break. This will allow you to accomplish four jobs, and then you can take a 15-minute break.
  • Instead of a coaching institute: Many working professionals enrol in coaching programmes only to skip a number of classes. They don’t appear to be able to find a coaching centre that works with their schedule. This hole can be filled by a personalised mentor. You can strengthen your preparation by working with a mentor who has attended the UPSC interview. In a mentorship setting, the aspirant receives assistance, incentive, and supervision to fulfil the day’s objective modules. The mentor works with the aspirant’s availability and creates a feasible approach for them to follow. They will assist you in identifying the pertinent topics that demand more editing than others.
  • Tips to Make Pomodoro Work for You
  1. If the aforementioned applies to you and you need to improve your time management skills, Pomodoro may be able to get you back on track more quickly than you might expect. The measures you must do in order to maximise your time are listed below.
  2. Because it has been discovered that 25 minutes is the best time duration for a concentrated session on task completion, each Pomodoro session is divided into the same time period.
  3. Set the alarm for 25 minutes, then ignore it and go to work on the activity you chose in the first stage. Even the impulse to check the time until the alarm goes off should not influence you.
  4. Silence your phone or mute all notifications to avoid being tempted to reply to calls or texts. The goal is to work regularly and completely dedicatedly during these 25 minutes.
  5. Prior to implementing the strategy across the board, it is preferable to start with a single task. It doesn’t matter if the assignment is big or small. The key is to focus your efforts. A one-time assignment or a set of recurring project tasks are also options.
  6. While you may be astonished by your production in such a short period, if you do not track it, you will quickly lose ground. A critical review of your session will also help you learn faster and better, which is why recording your session is essential.
  7. The key to Pomodoro success is to keep it fresh. It’s like a high-intensity brain workout, and the only way to get your juices flowing again is to rest.
  8. This is why, at this moment, a small pause of 3-5 minutes would be more beneficial than anything else. Many high-performance athletes, entrepreneurs, and businesspeople swear by the effectiveness of these brief bursts of intense labour.
  9. Do not take another pause and begin another cycle of Pomodoro. Repeat this method for 3-4 rounds before taking a 30-minute break.
  10. Pomodoro allows you to take lengthier pauses of 30 to 40 minutes every four cycles, but no more.
  11. This game has rules, just like many other self-improvement strategies and tactics. If you do not take things seriously, the sessions will not be as fruitful as they should be, and you will quickly abandon the quest.
  12. You don’t need to waste time breaking down things into manageable steps if they can be completed within a few Pomodoro sessions. Complex jobs, on the other hand, should be divided into smaller, more manageable tasks that ultimately lead to the end result.
  13. Put all the tasks together that don’t need a separate Pomodoro session into one session. Examples include making a to-do list, reading a piece of writing, emptying your mailbox for the day, and so forth.
  14. Your decisions should always be based on your integrity. While you should minimise the possibility of interruptions from your telephone, computer, or other devices, occasionally unanticipated events could still disrupt your rhythm.

Drawbacks of the Pomodoro Technique

  • If you can complete anything in a few Pomodoro sessions, there is no need to waste time breaking it down into smaller, more manageable pieces. Contrarily, complicated processes ought to be broken down into smaller, easier-to-manage steps that finally provide the desired outcome.
  • Put all the chores into one session that don’t require a separate Pomodoro session. Examples include writing a to-do list, reading a book, cleaning out your mailbox, and so on.
  • Always base your decisions on your ethics. The likelihood of interruptions from your phone, computer, or other gadgets should be minimised, but occasionally unplanned events could still throw off your rhythm.

You Can Read Also:

The Shining Ladies of UPSC 2021
UPSC Online Application 2022 – 50+ Common Queries and Concerns Answered
UPSC Civil Services Main Examination – Optional and Compulsory Papers

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