Saturday, October 08, 2011

2011 Streak Day 260 (Tuesday Sept 20th): Kitchen timers

2011 Streak Day 260 (Tuesday Sept 20th): Cycle - 22.79, Time - 1hr 48min, Weather - overcast and blustery
Let me explain why I had to cycle to Watford again:
My new-beginning programme not only includes a gradual picking-up of exercise levels but also the start of a mindfulness programme. The course I will be following is outlined  in the book Mindfulness by Mark Williams and Danny Penman and lasts 8 weeks.
I will talk about this in a later post but for now I will concentrate on practicalities - more specifically the need for a kitchen timer.
If I am going to meditate for a specific amount of time I need something to tell me when to stop (or more accurately when I am allowed to give up) - a kitchen time is the obvious answer. I had already come across the idea of the kitchen timer as a productivity tool in the Oliver Burkeman book Help, and had been meaning to buy one for some time (naturally he also has something relevant to say about procrastination). So it was obvious that my first act on a Monday morning would be to go out buy a timer in a way that also involved exercise (hence the cycle to Watford).
It was a good idea and Monday was a pretty good day so I thought the programme had started well except … except the timer was no good. For some reason it made a little bleeping noise every 5 minutes, which for my purposes was useless. So I had to go back again, return it and get a different timer - one that is silent until all the time has expired
Now a kitchen timer is not an expensive piece of kit and if I had gone by car both times I would probably have spent more on travel and parking than the thing was worth. Good job I have a bike!
P.S. Oliver Burkeman also suggests using a timer to cut down on time wasted on-line (you know the way one click can lead to another in a meandering aimless way until you wake up and realise a chunk of the day has just disappeared). In the long run that might be as important an act of mindfulness as meditating twice a day

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