Thursday, September 8, 2016

Reset - fruitfulness

A couple of months ago, when I was feeling particularly overwhelmed and flustered, a friend gently reminded me of the Pomodoro Technique, the virtues of which I had extolled in the past. It was the same friend who had given us the kitchen timer that gave this technique its name. I was still using the system on and off (setting the alarm on my phone), but her comment made me realise that I needed to make it my default way of working.

This week I am working from home mostly. It is not quite back-to-school for me yet, as I won't be starting work in the Uni again until the end of the month, and I won't be teaching before October, but there are various things I want to get done before returning to the externally scheduled part of my work, and these quiet days at home are a chance to do that and also look after the garden. So here I am with the kitchen timer instead of the phone beside me (although I am not sure whether the ticking noise will become a nuisance. It is supposed to add a sense of urgency, but I don't want to view this as a race against time), and it has been going well. 

I am finally (finally) revisiting the Pirates poem that I illustrated years ago, and hopefully it will be a physical book soon. Having given away several of the drawings and not taken good-quality photos of them, I had some sort of block about redrawing them, but it is high time, or the author's children will be adults by the time this gets published.

For my Pomodoro breaks I mainly do housework, which tends to be the biggest procrastination tool for me when working from home. I can avail of the bursts of sunshine to get clothes dry outside and race out to take them in when the next inevitable downpour starts. Today I also made use of some garden goodies during a break, making apple sauce and preparing beetroot for tonight's dinner.

For the longer breaks or the mornings and evenings, going for a walk or a run is a non-negotiable, and as of this week I have made yoga a daily habit. My sister got me started again when I was in Germany, and I was embarrassed to see how much of my flexibility has suffered. In the past year other things had taken over, between the new house and the garden, and my haphazard routine often meant I would only do ten minutes on the mat. Better than nothing, but it wasn't what I wanted. So now I put on Yoga with Adriene every day and do at least half an hour. I used to teach myself with books (I have never been to an actual class), as I thought I preferred peace and quiet and following videos would just be another version of screen time, but being guided is so helpful and ensures that I show up.

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