My Next New Thing: a variation on the Pomodoro Technique.
You can read the book (surely there’s a book) or you can try the technique on your own—basically, work 25 minutes, take a 5-minute break, and repeat.
I use my iPhone timer. Sometimes I ignore it when it goes off, which (obviously) defeats the purpose. But sometimes I stick to the rules, and that’s usually the better choice.
If you have ADD or ADHD, Pomodoro can help you focus and prevent hyperfocusing—a huge problem for me. I get sucked into stuff—often my website, which is lots of fun but really doesn’t require the hours and hours and hours I spend on it. When a project takes hold of me, I break all the rules. I slouch, grind my teeth, forget to eat… feel the guilt but do it anyway… and worst of all, I ignore the work I ought to be doing. When it taps at my consciousness—”Hey, Kiddo [it calls me Kiddo], you were going to Skype your grandson at 4:30″—I turn into the Cosmic Queen of Self-Deception. I’m so good at rationalizing, I almost have God convinced.
In a single day of using Pomodoro—sloppily, it must be said, but still—I put six items up on eBay, went to physical therapy and actually got there on time, did a half-hour phone interview with a client, drafted a summary of the interview, and made a pot of potato-cheese-broccoli soup.
To say the eBay-ing was “critical” is no exaggeration. Having spent most of the month of May carelessly, with little or no attention to my budget, my health-and-wellness habits (in no particular order: eating, sleeping, breathing, hydrating, exercising, socializing, meditating, and so on), or my long-term goals, all I had to show for it was a negative bank balance, an empty refrigerator, and a nagging headache. Selling on eBay is one of the few ways I know of to bring in a bit of emergency cash.
Once I published the items on eBay, I tended them like a helicopter mom, but worse—beyond following their progress, I frequently jumped in and steered them in new directions. Changed descriptions. Took new photos and replaced the old ones. Added a refund policy. Revised my shipping policy. Tweeted them. Posted them to Pinterest, of which I have little knowledge and less experience.
Response, on the part of eBay prospective buyers, has been tepid. Aloof. Uninterested. Unsatisfactory—though all items are in great shape and priced between $3 and $10—in each case, lower than the competition. Should I take this personally?
Please take a look. Trash them if you like, comment on them if you’re feeling generous, buy them if they’re calling your name. Meanwhile, may God bless you and prosper you while, at the same time, not forgetting about me down here in line at the food pantry. –MMC