Day 140 Procrastination, Pomodoro and Chicken countdown

Blog May 21, 2014

I am writing this piece with an annoying-chicken-shape-kitchen-timer ticking loud counting back besides my laptop ready to ring when the time is up. It ticks down for only 25 minutes. I feel as if I was running on a fast treadmill with a wide open crocodile mouth open waiting for me to trip and ready to send me to hell.

So here is why I do this. This is the second and the third day of me trying to wake up at 4 O’clock at night for 7 days. It has been slowly sliding. The plan was to wake up at 4 o’clock in the morning. Instead, I woke up at 4:10 AM at the first day, 5:10 AM at the second day, and 6:00 AM at the third day. 

In one hand, it might seems like a failure. you know, not achieving the target. But in the other hand, waking up at 06:00 AM is still way better than 11:00 AM. (this being said, I didn’t try to criminalise the night people. I just try to wake up early). I only can say “Tomorrow I will try to wake up earlier”. (Note to self: May be I do need that annoying audio book from David Sedaris to still let him read the passage until I woke up.)

The first day of the four O’clock Project, I felt that I reclaim back my time from 12 hour a day to 24 hour a day. The problem is that I still think that I did not use it effective enough. I was trying to sit to write and it can go like this: Opening Evernote-> okay I need to read the previous post-> open Facebook -> “oh look a viral advertising of Hare and a bear” -> wow the music is nice what is it-> find handphone->open Shazam-> oh Lily Allen, somewhere Only we know -> who is the singer of the original version?-> go to Google-> ah Keane eh wait, i think this song also used in movie with Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves and so on en so forth .

And it is exhausting, make me feel bad and frustrated. Because as wikipedia defines procrastination is counterproductive, needless and delaying.

I had enough. I did small research about it. After hours of procrastination on researching it, I found an alternative solution. This solution does not wipe all the procrastination, it is just making an intentional rest, making an intentional procrastination so we have kind of control over it. the method called Pomodoro Technique

In short, how it work basically 

a) Set the count down timer at 25 minutes
b) Do your work in that 25 minutes
c) If you suddenly think an unplanned things to do (distraction), just write it down and tell your self you will asses it later
d) When the timer rings, you HAVE to have your self a 3-5 minutes rest. You can use this time for internet, making tea, or standing in front of window and pretend to be awesome philosophers. Everything but the work you are doing.
e) After 5 minutes, get back to the first step
f)  After 4 Pomodoros, (25 mins work + 5 mins rest) Make a longer rest (15-20) mins after 4 Pomodoros (25 mins work + 5 mins rest)

You will need

a) count down timer (manual is better than electronic. They suggest to use a cook timer, the one you will use in the kitchen with a very loud tick and tock, and with the manual “kriiiing” sound. )
b) a paper to write a to do list, and list to write your distraction
c) an open mind to at least give it a try in a week.

Boy, was I nervous when I try it the first time. That loud “Tick" and “Tock" intimidates me. I felt I just have to race with a short time. I feel that I will never win no matter I tried to think and type fast. That God-damn-annoying-chicken-shape-kitchen-timer just will ring without me finishing my work.

I feel like running and running, and rather than being concentrated and being very productive I felt like I was suffocated, and being reminded every second that my time is running away. That my time is not going to be back, that I will not going to be fest enough to finish my task at hand.

However, like my relationship with dietary yoghurt, I give my self a second chance to let it helps me.

The second day, I let my self think the way the Maker of Pomodoro technique want me to think when hearing that “Tick”-“Tock". He wrote “as long as you make something in between that "Tick” and “Tock” you shouldn’t feel bad, suffocated and anxious about running out of time. because it means that your task at hand is progressing.”

May be there will be more than 50% of this piece that I will rewrite later. But if I did not make it in this time, it will not make by it self.

Because you know, sometime time was just running without compassion. After work, looking at Facebook, making dinner, watching series, winding down a bit, reading magazine and next thing we know, it already midnight, and tomorrow awaits in matter of minutes.

NB: for those who are curious about This Pomodoro Technique, here are the links

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