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Replying again: I really like the folks in this thread! I also created an account just to make my original response.

To address the need for regular breaks to recharge: Make use of a small notebook where you write down where you left off in your work and what one or two – VERY SIMPLE – next steps you can jump into when you get back. This was taught to me in grad school as “parking downhill.” Maybe you can call a friend to check in for a few minutes, helping with reconnection to loved ones, too. Ask them to kick you off the phone to go back to work at a certain time so you don’t get behind the schedule you set for yourself. Set a timer alarm as a backup.

If you’re overwhelmed by what you wrote down prior to your break and you’re unwilling to start, the step was too complicated. The right chunk should be such a small pill to swallow that you can’t help but get started and take the medicine. This technique also works whenever you get stuck on a complicated series of tasks for a larger project.

Being gentle with taking pomodoro breaks and restarting has helped me tremendously. I’d like to comment more on the uncanny similarities in our jobs – totally get the teaching dynamic! – but enough already. Hugs!