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Study for 25 Minutes then take BREAK

Hello Everyone,

I had forgotten about this free Timer . You can either use it or use the concept. Long ago, Professor Pimsleur did many tests regarding Language learning/cognition/RETENTION.

“Dr. Pimsleur’s research on memory was perhaps one of his most
revolutionary achievements. He discovered that if learners were reminded
of new words at gradually increasing intervals, each time they would
remember longer than the time before. He documented the optimal spacing
for information to move from short-term into long-term, or permanent,
memory. This theory is at the base of all the Pimsleur programs.”

Michael Thomas the somewhat recently deceased British Linguist also taught a similar Method of using small, repetitive increments. So…

Study for 20-25 minutes
Take 5 Minutes Break - This has to be a true break, no looking at anything study related. Go wash the dishes, open your mail, Listen to Music. When your time is up.
Study for 20-25 Minutes

Just wash, rinse, repeat.

There have been MANY Studies that the Human Brain retains information best in the first 20 Minutes of studying.

Here is the Timer

May this benefit all,


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This sounds like the pomodoro technique which is something I use when video editing. But it can be applied to any form of work where you want to boost productivity.

For mac, I recommend this one.

For Chrome, I recommend Pomello which links with Trello and adds the time started and finished to each card.

This is an example of how my work looked when editing the Say it Right series :slightly_smiling:

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This is a really great concept. I haven’t really tried taking a break completely to do something else, but instead tried studying anki for 25 min and then went to practicing writing in Skritter for 25min and then went to listen to a CPod lesson for another 25. Cycle and repeat.

Perhaps I shouldn’t be cycling like this and should take a break completely to do something else. @GwilymJames @643764948 what are your experiences with using this technique for studying Mandarin?

Yes, Gwwilym it is Pomodoro!

The only thing I forgot to write is that after the 4th round of Study you get a 25 Minute Break.
I am new to Chinese and I have been suffering from spacing out and not knowing words/characters that I do know after 20 minutes. I find this way of studying truly improves retention and also assists with feeling less frustrated due to burn out. (I used this TImer once upon a time when for College level Mathematics and it made a HUGE difference)

So, in a nutshell it is

Study 20-5 Minutes
Break 5 Minutes

Study 20-5 Minutes
Break 5 Minutes

Study 20-5 Minutes
Break 5 Minutes

Study 20-5 Minutes

The Timer sets this up for you.


Hello Matt,

The Pomodoro Timing can be used for learning ANYTHING. I used it for College Math’s studying. Combine it with Anki and you have a powerful learning Aid.

You HAVE to take a complete break from what you are studying. That is KEY. Go wash dishes, listen to music, eat a sandwich, drink water, anything but what you are studying.

This concept is not new and there have been MANY Scientific studies regarding the Human Brain/Memory Retention and the outcomes are generally very consistent. The Human Brain retains information best during the first 20 minutes of studying/learning.

Try it!


That’s why ChinesePod lessons are 15-20mins long :slight_smile:

Thanks for the clarification, I will make sure to take a bit of a break between my study sessions to focus on something else.

I’d like to have studied with this schedule! :slight_smile: