Using a Tomato for Productivity, and What I’ve Been Reading This Week


Each week I’m going to post a collection of books, blogs, videos, and other sites that I have gotten something meaningful out of that week. First, here are the books…

I know, I need to read some fiction as well. On to the web readings!

  1. Dan Pink’s site is one of the best for finding ways to help stay productive. He has said that his “quest to get more and better work done is endless”, and he is always posting tips for those also on that quest. One post that caught my eye this week was this post, Can a Tomato Make You More Productive? I read on to find out that he is describing the Pomodoro Technique, which is working diligently at a task for 25 minutes, taking a 5 minute break, then repeating the process. After 4 pomodoros, you take a 15 minute power break. I’m using the technique today!
  2. For the writers in the house, here is a letter written by John Steinbeck to his editor and friend, Pat Covici. In this letter, titled A Book is Like a Man, Steinbeck sheds a little light on his writing process. Here is a quote: “A book is like a man—clever and dull, brave and cowardly, beautiful and ugly. For every flowering thought there will be a page like a wet and mangy mongrel, and for every looping flight a tap on the wing and a reminder that wax cannot hold the feathers firm too near the sun.”
  3. One of the creative hobbies I’ve taken up this year is drawing, though it has taken a backseat to all this writing, I’m still on the look out for good resources. Grant Snider was kind enough to release a fun little comic on it, which is brilliant of him. Thanks! 
  4. Blue Like Jazz is coming out soon, April 13th to be exact. Donald Miller’s book on Christianity in today’s society was one of the first I read that really made me begin thinking about what the Gospel of Jesus and his teachings meant to me. It was very important to my ongoing spiritual development. So I am looking forward to the movie, and I hope people go see it and a conversation begins about what it means to follow God. For starters though, here is the trailer:
  5. Forks over Knives, the documentary. I have seen food movies before, and they always leave me thinking about what I eat, where I buy, being local, and on and on. FOK did the same, but I did finish watching it and consider seriously the amount of meat I was consuming. I eat a good amount, not an excessive amount, and it’s normally good meat (not from fast food joints). The science behind a whole food plant based diet is compelling, and I’ve found myself eating less meat since then. Will I become a vegan or even a vegetarian? Probably not, meat is just so delicious and satisfying. At the same time, the benefits of fruits, vegetables, and some grains are undeniable. The change in health for the people in the doc is incredible, and the only variable they changed was their diet. If you have Hulu plus, you can watch the full documentary for free. Here is the trailer:

What have you been readin lately? I would love to hear your personal lists as well.

P.S. additional thanks to Jeff Goins, for the idea of a reading list. Also to Robert Bruce, who  wrote the great post on why creatives need to read fiction. 

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One thought on “Using a Tomato for Productivity, and What I’ve Been Reading This Week

  1. Loving the posts. Keep ’em coming.

    I wouldn’t go too far to the extreme w/ Goins’s nonfiction suggestions, though. I think a good balance is key. I’m a big fan of biographies (reading Metaxas’s bio on Bonhoeffer now); they’re a key source of inspiration for me, and they often prove the old cliche true – the truth is stranger than fiction.

    Looking forward to seeing you guys next month.

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