Tinariwen : Desert Rock

I’m marking. And when I mark, I love having music that keeps me going. This time round, I’m resonating with an album called Imidiwan:Companions by Touareg band Tinariwen. It’s new to me, but was recorded in 2009. You might not like the music — the vocals in particular are an acquired taste — but isn’t this the best album cover in the world?

To avoid the vocals temporarily but get a feel for their sound, have a listen to the track they lay down in Groove in G for Playing for Change. You can listen to clips from their albums on their website.

“Promodoro” for iPhone

The Pomodoro technique helps me get work done when I’m stressed. You work in short bursts or blitzes, with even shorter breaks built in. The classic timings are 25 minutes of work, followed by 5 minutes of break. Repeat 4 times and take a longer break. It’s great for slogging through writing.

When I’m doing something especially distasteful, I shorten the spells, sometimes to as short as 10m work, 2m break! Even things I hate doing, I know I can bear for ten minutes. And once the first iteration is done, in my two minute breather, I tell myself … I can manage another ten minutes.

I’ve now found what I think is the ideal timer on the iPhone. It’s called Promodoro (note the extra r) and it’s simple and effective and flexible. It doesn’t cost very much either.