Happy Monday! I hope you’re already reaping the benefits of this fresh new week!
When I jotted this quote in my notebook awhile back, I wasn’t thinking of it in terms of productivity, but in how I felt in my early days of this Tippy Toe Diet. For the first time ever, I wasn’t thinking of change in the context of what I used to do but in the light of what I do now. ALL of my energy was on creating a sustainable way of managing my weight. I didn’t feel like I was fighting battles against myself; I was learning to live with myself in a new and healthier way. Life was/IS about the new, not the old.
Speaking of new, I’m following years of tradition and starting something new on this particular Monday. I’m experimenting with a new-to-me way of working, The Pomodoro Technique(pdf), a productivity method that focuses on 25-minute increments of activity with a 3-5 minute break following. After four work-breaklet cycles, you take a 15-30 minute break. Or as I like to call it, lunch!
I’ve had some success with working in 15-minute bursts, but what often happens is that I just turn off the iphone alarm and keep going, telling myself that I’ll just finish this one task and then I’ll get up and stretch or, depending on the task, sit down and cool off. Or get some sleep. And two hours later I’m either feeling like a pretzel or an egg that’s been cracked and fried on the sidewalk.
Or sometimes what happens is I get distracted in the middle of the “shift” and end up
surfing chatting with neighbors going to Smoothie Cafe working on something less imperative.
I’m eager to see if this Pomodoro thing works better. I’ve already learned one valuable lesson. The technique gets its name from those cute tomato timers you see around. I thought I’d just use my iphone, but, well, I got distracted in the middle of my very first task! I’d kind of forgotten to focus for a minute there and got off track. So I dragged out my kitchen timer which is a much better taskmaster. Tick-tick-tick A constant reminder to finish the task at hand when my mind (and clicky finger) wanders.
During my first breaklet this morning, I was thinking about writing this post (I don’t think the rules say you can’t think about the tasks ahead), and it occurred to me that in successfully managing our weight, we find some sort of tick-tick-tick that keeps us on task, on building the new. It might not be audible, or even tangible, but there’s something that keeps us from losing focus.
For me, listing the reasons why I wanted to lose weight and referring to the list at least once a day was the tick-tick-tick I needed. As I stuck with it day after day, forward momentum kicked in and the rest, as they say, is history. As Richard Murphy (Confessions of a Contractor wrote: “The moment you fall in love with the sound of progress is the moment you stop hearing everything else.”
Tick-tick-tick What keeps you focused on moving forward, on building the new?
Or do you feel like you’re stuck in fight mode? I’ll do what I can to help, and if I don’t have an answer, maybe another reader will.
As for this tomato productivity thing, it’s too early to tell, but I think there’s something to it. I’m not fighting the urge to check email or facebook or go play with the dog down the street. I can do that on my (non-lunch) break later. Tick-tick-tick I think I feel a rhythm building.