It’s a little ironic that this post comes so soon after a post I wrote recently on rest. In that post, I mentioned how I was looking forward to March Break, to catching up on some work but also to resting. I am now nearing the end of the March Break, and I must be honest – I haven’t felt particularly restful.

I am someone who loves being productive and I tend to devise little systems for myself to accomplish this. Unfortunately, I feel like I’ve been working a lot over the last few days, but not necessarily working well. Today, with a small window of time between dropping my son off at daycare and meeting my friend for lunch, I headed to the public library to do some work. Though it was a brief period of time (40 min), I was able to get a lot done.

It was uncanny how the podcast that I was listening to while driving to the restaurant addressed this (you will find that I listen to a lot of podcasts). This particular podcast episode focused on productivity, discipline and focus, and a lot of the things mentioned in the podcast rang true for me. In a nutshell, the guest is a podcaster who does virtually all his work for the month in a span of two days. He works in pomodoros – cycles of focused work and rest – to optimize his energy and cognitive load. This guest also mentioned Parkinson’s Law – that your work expands to fill the time that you have. This made me realize – perhaps my downfall was that I hadn’t set out specific timeframes to complete my tasks, and my brain was feeling overwhelmed with the idea of having to get all these different things done.

When I got home after lunch, I gave the pomodoro technique a whirl. I did two cycles of 39 min on/11 min off, and though it didn’t always feel comfortable, I will attest to the fact that I got things done. Having checked a few things off in the work column of my to-do list, I now felt freed to put school work aside for the remainder of the day…thus why I can write this post at 9:30 instead of at 11:45 pm. I still have some household cleaning I need to do, but I plan to curl up with a book in about half an hour and read until bedtime. Looking forward to some real rest after a day of good work.