Change is good. But most people are afraid to embrace change because it forces them out of their comfort zone. Without change, there is no adventure in life. Life is boring without change. Change is a necessary element of growth. If we don’t change, we don’t grow.
I am an above-average student. I always remained in the top 3 students in my class in school and currently in college. I used to study hard continuously for 4-5 hours without breaks. This was an effective way to get good marks, but it used to burn me out. Moreover, it resulted in learning for the sake of passing the exam and not learning actually. I had the potential to come first in class, but my study methods were not effective.
My parents used to suggest me to take breaks. I used to ignore their advice. I thought it was not my fault that I could not come first in class; just that the top 2 students were better than me. Even when I used to learn other things, I tried to learn in a go without breaks. This strategy was effective during school, but it did not help me clear engineering entrance exams. Although I practised for them, I failed miserably in all the entrance exams like IIT-JEE, AIEEE and IPU-CET in 2012.
That was the time when I tried to find the flaw in my preparation strategy. I researched the Internet, asked friends and cousins the reason. The biggest reason I found was that I didn’t take enough breaks between my study routine. I thought to study without breaks meant more productivity, but I was wrong. It was skipping breaks that led to stress and exhaustion. Moreover, I was afraid that taking breaks could make me procrastinate my study.
After failing in engineering entrance exams, I started to prepare for the entrance exam of Polytechnics in Delhi for Diploma in Computer Engineering. Learning from previous experiences, I began incorporating breaks in-between my study schedule. Taking breaks improved my concentration levels, and I was able to grasp more than I used to previously. Breaks also improved my focus and attention to my studies. Moreover, I secured 544th rank in the entrance exam for Diploma in Computer Engineering.
When I started taking breaks, they were irregular. Nowadays, I use the Pomodoro Technique to take breaks. I use an app on my android phone to keep track of time which alerts me to take breaks on regular intervals. The technique uses a timer to break down work into intervals traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks of 5 minutes. This technique has helped me to excel in every endeavour I undertake; whether it be learning code, blogging or reading books.
I found that incorporating breaks during my studies was one of the best change that I made in my life.