Shutterstock. Licensed Use.

Part 1: Prodrome

Last week was awesome. I got to hang out with family I haven’t seen since The Before Times, hiked to waterfalls, and floated the rivers near my home. I volunteered with a local organization and met some potential friends. I hiked to waterfalls and floated the rivers near my home. I pushed my physical boundaries and filled my reserves with love and hope.

Monday morning, I woke up feeling a little sore and sunburned, in that happy way that comes from days spent playing outdoors. I spent Monday and Tuesday at a leadership retreat at work, so wasn’t particularly aware…


Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

This morning, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy declared misinformation a serious health threat. As a librarian at a small college, I work with undergraduates to help increase their media literacy and critical thinking skills. Some of our students are very savvy, but like the rest of our country, some believe the misinformation — and disinformation — they read on social media and hear from friends and family. Misinformation isn’t a new problem, but it is a huge contributor to the cultural divide surrounding COVID-19 health precautions and vaccination.

I am urging all Americans to help slow the spread of health…


Photo by Mockup Graphics on Unsplash

What’s most difficult for you? Getting started on a project or focusing on it? Cycles of focus and rest can be helpful with either of these barriers. Using a timer to focus on a single task for a set time is my favorite motivational tool. Add to that, cognitive research indicates that taking breaks increases productivity. Put those two together, and Pomodoro sounds like the perfect solution. But is it?

Here’s how it’s supposed to work (straight from the originator)

Although “pomodoros” conjure images in my mind of gorgeous red Italian tomatoes, a Pomodoro is a specific time management strategy created by Francesco Cirillo.

Here’s how Cirillo himself describes it:


I wrote a piece that I think is funny AND informative, but no one is reading it. Why is it that my favorite posts get no traction at all? I was happy when Muddy Um accepted me as a writer and published my first humor piece. But five people have viewed it. Five.

The title is clickable and I think the publication has decent distribution. Did the mention of menopause in the subtitle turn people off? Or is curation making a big difference yet again?

I understand it when Age of Empathy personal essays are overlooked in favor of how-to-do-it…


Messy Time Management

Photo by Andy Beales on Unsplash

The other day, I was chatting with a client about her return to work at the office next month. JoJo (not her real name) told me, “I have always hated mornings, but working at home has made it easier for me. I don’t have to be completely presentable as long as I am working at 8:00. And I don’t have to commute, so it’s not as big a rush. But leaving the house by 7:00 completely made up and ready? Ugh. How did I even do that?”

JoJo happens to have ADHD, so time management is a particular issue for…


FUNNY BUT TRUE

As Seen on TV logo
As Seen on TV logo
Image Source: Wikimedia

As I was dozing over an issue of the Journal of the American Heart Association the other day, reality seemed to blur.

Full of overblown angst, Woman 1 is struggling to get into her car with a duffle bag, yoga mat, and a large tote bag.

Cheesy Voiceover: Don’t you hate having to drag yourself out of the house to go to the gym?

Woman 1 (whining and looking off-screen): No, I can’t play with the grandkids. I have to go to the gym for my workout. …


A brick house and a white house stand side-by-side on treed lots.
A brick house and a white house stand side-by-side on treed lots.
The Homeplace. Screenshot from Google street view.

These houses are gone but I feel them. The white dust from the asbestos siding on my fingertips. Rotton apricots, slippery underfoot. The smell of plaster and my Great Aunt Til.

Aunt Til’s father built three houses on this corner around the turn of the 20th century. Each contained multiple apartments, for family and income. He was a builder, designing and constructing houses for a growing northern Indiana city on Lake Michigan.

Five generations of my family have lived in one or more of these apartments. In Appalachia, they call this “the homeplace.” It’s the ancestral home where you return…


We are seeing science fiction coming true, and that is not good news. As I watched the morning news with my spouse today, I was struck by the juxtaposition of…

Marie Jones, EdD

Librarian. Curious human. Writing about psychology, science, and messy productivity. I believe in the Oxford comma. (She/Her/Hers) www.messydeskconsulting.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store