30 minutes at a time

Sometimes I’m thankful for a rainy, cold weekend.

When the week gets away from me and the assignments pile up for my two seminary classes, the weekend becomes catch up time. It’s the time when I bury my head in a book or watch the course videos.

But, with that there comes another area for balance.

Ever since I landed on the planet in the winter before the moon landing and Woodstock, Saturdays were for house cleaning. Oh, when I was little and Mom stayed at home, she did some of the work through the week. The bigger projects and the deeper cleaning were kept for the weekend. Refrigerators would be cleaned out, laundry would be done, floors mopped and carpets vacuumed.

You don’t just jettison a decades-long habit because you have to read a chapter discussing the differences between Irenaeus’ and Augustine’s thoughts on free will in relation to the sovereignty of God. (And, yes, that is indeed what I was reading today.)

What you do is adjust. I’ve found a variation of the Pomodoro technique works well on the weekends. The technique breaks work down into typically 25-minute intervals with a short break. I’ve used it at work, and it’s stunning how much more clearly you think if you take a walk around the office every so often.

So, for the weekends during the seminary, I adjust the times to be more reasonable for the work I am doing. Today, for example, I started off with about 30 minutes of cleaning and sorting laundry. That was followed by 30 minutes of a video on the divine covenants. Then, 30 more minutes of cleaning, followed by an hour of online chat with the professor and my classmates.

You get the picture.

By late afternoon, the cleaning was done and I had made a dent in the mounds of work leftover from the week, giving me time to settle back and watch a new episode of Doctor Who.

And that’s always a great way to polish off a busy Saturday.


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