Introducing the Martinez Method

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Hi, I’m Marina Martinez-Bateman, and I’m going to tell you about a revolutionary new productivity technique. I call I “The Martinez Method.”

At my last full-time job before launching New Coyote, I had a really serious grant application that I had to submit to a funder. I’d been extremely busy with various other things all week and totally spaced on this super strict deadline—and I didn’t have a relationship with the funding entity so I couldn’t ask for an extension.

I was running around putting out all kinds of fires that week and it completely slipped my mind. I was exhausted, working late, and skipping meals all week around all these different crises, so I was frustrated and upset about this falling off my to-do list. Even worse: The grant was due in just three hours! Thinking about it rationally, I realized that whatever I was going to do in that time period wasn’t going to be enough. I decided I’d take an hour and a half, I’d walk to a restaurant that I liked to get some food, and then I’d stop at a park that was near my work and finally take a break.

As I sat there on a park bench eating my lunch, I saw a rat struggling to drag a 12oz can of Coca-Cola into a bush. I remember thinking to myself, how funny it was that this rat had quite literally bitten off more than it could chew, and how relatable that was to my own current circumstances.

Somehow, this led to me remembering I’d actually already done the majority of the work for the grant application several days before. I wouldn’t have remembered if I hadn’t taken the time to go out into the world and be a human being sitting on a park bench, observing the world’s weirdness and giving myself the things that my brain and body so desperately needed. I went back to my office, hit submit on the application, and then everything just happened - it was a success story and I got the grant!

Now you know that it works, allow me to introduce to you The Martinez Method:

The Martinez Method is meant for emergency situations, where the shit is very likely going to hit the fan, but not yet. Similar to the Pomodoro Method—where you alternate periods of working with short breaks—with the Martinez Method, there are only two intervals: break and then work.

The idea is that if you’ve been working yourself to mental and physical exhaustion and you’re hours away from an important deadline you know you’re not going to hit, you must do the one thing there’s left to do in this situation: Rest!

The Martinez Method for Productivity

  • When you are exhausted but you have a difficult task due in a few hours, cut the hours in half (Ex: If it’s due in 6 hours, each interval will be 3 hours long)
  • Spend the first interval resting
  • No working! Take a nap, eat some food, watch TV, go for a walk, call a friend
  • Seriously! This is very important: Do not spend this time laboring in any way
  • Then use the second half to efficiently do the thing from a space of being well-resourced and rested
  • If this doesn’t work, you probably wouldn’t have gotten the thing done in that time frame anyway and now you’ve at least taken care of your body and have the energy to do damage control
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