You know those kits for growing tomato plants upside down? (or if you’re crafty, making them out of a 2 liter bottle?)
That’s what my todo lists are starting to look like.
Pomodoros work well, most of the time. But, right now my lists are….just a little overwhelming.
Make that a lot overwhelming. To the point that looking at my list actually makes me catch my breath. And not in a good way.
So instead of working for 25 minutes, then taking a five minute break, I’m turning things upside down.
20 minutes of playing. Or writing. Or just something fun. And then 10 minutes of super-focused work. And then back to the glitter pens!
It’s funny how much resistance I’m running into while doing this.
(In the spirit of Havi’s fuzzy monsters, I’ve starting having long talks with my resistance points. Which has the odd effect of making all my internal conversations sound like group discussions…. But so far, no one’s complaining. Or at least, no one’s telling me they think I’m off my rocker, and I’ll take that.)
Resistance says: “You’ll never get it all done! Where are your priorities? You have so many things to do!! You can’t play first, then work!”
To which the monsters I’ve already wooed to my team reply: “Yes, we can. Remember, we’ve already determined that more play is important to doing our best work.
“We can get this done. We’re working on building more realistic lists. Estimating the actual time things take, remembering ALL the parts to each task, so that a supposedly ten minute task doesn’t surprise us and turn into a hour and a half ordeal that blows the rest of the list away.
“Anyway… let’s just try it for a week.”
And that’s been the best technique ever for letting myself experiment with this.
First, making sure that I’m REALLY CONFIDENT about what tasks are non-negotiable for today. This also means being sure I’m current on my almanac, calendar and tickler files.
Keeping the almanac and the tickler and calendar current, doing my morning and evening writing… sometimes it feels like a hassle. Like just more stuff to do. Constricting, confining, no fun, don’t wanna, not gonna.
But knowing that everything is current, I’m on top of it, and all is well? Totally worth it. And when I time how long it actually takes to do all of it, I’m embarrassed to say it’s usually about 10 minutes a day. Funny little stuck point. Aren’t you so cute!
Second, knowing that this is just an experiment is fabulous. That I’m just playing with this idea, and that after a week we can analyze, see how the week felt. Maybe every day do a mini-review: how did the day feel? Did I get enough things done? Did I feel rushed or relaxed? I can do anything at all for just a week. Which makes this easy.
And those upside-down tomato planters? I’ve heard they have lovely flowers.