Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Back to school time!

Even though I haven't been a student for the last 8 years I still have a soft spot for this time of year. I carry vivid teen-aged memories of going to the mailbox at the end of August and retrieving the back-to-school issue of Teen magazine with Tory Spelling on the cover, returning home and eating it up. There's just something so studious but fresh about September!

This year, at my teacher friend Mrs.Roddy's prompting, I decided to follow the school calendar with my own work. As you may know, I'm working part-time and my goal is to spend the other part of my time writing. But I confess that sometimes that other time never materializes. I've given myself a break for the last three months since I've been easing into this whole Seattle thing, but now that school is starting, I'm sharpening the number 2's and buckling down hard core. It's business time.

The first week won't be too strenuous -- no monster assignments just yet. Just an hour a day getting back into the swing of this writing life. To help kick-start the routine I'm making plans to get out of the house as much as possible. Home work is amazing but also a trap for the easily distracted among us. In fact, you'll find me right now at the hipster haunt Oddfellow's on Capitol Hill, beavering away. I count no less than nine macs surrounding me so I'm in good company.

School supplies are of course the best part of adopting a school calendar. This year I'm going for just the basics, you know, things like 0.4 black Pilot pens (only the literally finest) and graph paper notebooks for catching ideas (grass catching I've heard this called), espresso, fresh flowers and my tomato timer.

In case you're out of the fruit loop, tomato timers are so hot! The pomodoro technique is a time management technique that has me working productively (gettin' things done) for 25 minutes and then browsing etsy or the blog-o-sphere or dreaming of painting my table a glossy black for the next 5. Repeat. I'm obsessed with time management tactics and this is doing the trick for me lately. (Here's the link to download your own personal tomato to your dashboard.)

Tomatoes aside, there's another method I'm using to get myself back into becoming the part-time writer I need to be. It involves stepping way from the blog for a bit. Not completely, just a minor retreat to one post a week rather than two. Nothing dramatic but wanted to warn you and hope you don't miss virtual me too much.

Well, happy back-to-school. How are you ringing in the autumn?

{photo from design*sponge}


Reuben said...

the pomodoro technique. mi piace

KateSimons said...

Does the pomodoro technique really work for you? As an independent consultant/grad student I am forever wasting time and pulling unnecessary all-nighters. I will give it a shot and let you know how it goes!

I'm glad you are enjoying Seattle. Sorry I missed you last time I was in town - my parents commandeered all of my brief visit. Lets catch up soon!


Rachael Randal said...

Aggh wanna get myself a desktop tomato timer - but only for Macs :-(

alisha said...

Katie, The pomodoro thang seems to be working for now. I like having short-term mini-bursts and knowing that I'll still have a wee bit of play time at the end as a reward. We'll see how long it lasts. And yes, let me know when you're next in town as I'm so close now!

Rachael, sorry the tomato isn't PC friendly! I also think having an actually tomato timer would be cool, and a great conversation piece at a coffee shop.

Nadine said...

Love the idea of the pomodoro method! I think I'll have to try that!

This time of year always makes me smile when I see all the back to school supplies in the stores. New binders, colored markers and notebooks never fail to make me smile.

Jess Fouche said...

I love a fresh month! The feel of September brings me right back to school days:) I need to get my act together for some activities with Jude on a regular basis, he asks for school every day. A good excuse to get some new school supplies indeed...

alisha said...

Jess, you've got a little student on your hands! :)

Joanna Roddy said...

YAY for back to school, back to writing, and back to a little discipline (and less blogging). Right there with you. Thanks for your prayers for my writing life. I like knowing what's going on with yours and plan to return the favor.

alisha said...

Thanks Joey, I love your support! Just knowing you're being disciplined yourself is really helpful to me. :)

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