Tag Archives: New Year Resolution

For once, a successful New Year’s Resolution

A year ago I sat down to write my New Year’s Resolution – as the blogosphere is my witness – to spend a minimum of 25 minutes every day working on my book, a biography of Walter Stevenson Davidson. According to the Pomodoro Technique,  25 minutes equals 1 pomodoro. As I explained a year ago, the aim of the Pomodoro Technique is to work uninterrupted for 25 minutes, then to take a 5 minute break. Do it again, then after 4 bursts of work take a longer break. Repeat as necessary.

366 days later, I am delighted to say that the technique has worked for me. I don’t always stop after 25 minutes – in fact I often become so engrossed in my writing that I don’t stop for an hour or more – but give or take a bit, I have largely stuck to the plan. There have been some hiccups – illness, family crises or a scheduled holiday – but I am now on track to complete my book during 2015.

Better yet, I’ve discovered that self-discipline does – eventually – become a habit. Continue reading

A New Year’s Resolution

I have a theory that the key to a successfully kept New Year’s Resolution is to aim low.  One New Year many years ago, my husband and I formally resolved to hang up the bathmat after a shower – and we’ve been doing it every since.

Big projects are harder: losing weight, doing more exercise, cutting down the booze, giving up Candy Crush – finishing the book.

The trouble with academic work, particularly the important stuff, which is research and writing, is that it is so huge and amorphous.  All those filing cabinets (real or virtual), all those words to write, all those versions of the same chapter already written – gah!  It needs to be broken down into manageable gobbets.

Walter Stevenson Davidson - my boy! Portrait by Ferdinand Mulnier in Mitchell Library, Sydney

Walter Stevenson Davidson.Portrait by Ferdinand Mulnier in Mitchell Library, Sydney

So here’s the plan.  As the blogosphere is my witness, I have resolved to spend a minimum of one Pomodoro a day working on my book. Continue reading