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  • Click here to schedule a time to do a Teddy Bear Talking Support Co-working online using Zoom.
  • Click here to find out about times to do Teddy Bear Talking Support Co-working sessions in-person in Ann Arbor.

***Welcome to the Co-working page!***

Co-working sessions are work sessions in which people get together to work independently on their own separate projects.

With TBTS co-working sessions, you intersperse doing work (usually for 15 minutes or 20 minutes at a time) with taking turns doing Teddy Bear Talk Support (usually for 3 minutes each). I do sessions like these regularly that last between 90 minutes and 2 hours.

For a one-hour TBTS co-working session, here is a suggested format. Do four TBTS sessions interspersed with three 14-minute work sessions. For the TBTS sessions, set a one minute timer for each person. When the timer goes off, reset the timer to give them up to another minute to wrap up.

Quote from my co-working writing partner: "It's amazing how I know what to say when someone is listening."

Quote from a co-working partner said to me after our first session of co-working: "We have to do this every day!!!" All we had done was interspersed three 20 minute work sessions with 2 minute meditation breaks. She was working on finishing a book she was writing, and now she saw that she didn't have to do it alone.

When introduced to the idea of co-working, many people immediately express interest in it. So, I'm guessing it'd be pretty easy to find co-working partners to work with. The range of activities that each person could choose to do can be quite wide. One person I co-work with virtually has worked on poetry, laundry, her work as an auditor, packing, and cooking over the course of our co-working sessions.

One way to easily be able to benefit from co-working is to try it out using Focusmate where you can do three free sessions a week with co-working partners that Focusmate pairs you with that match the times you want to work.

For doing Teddy Bear Talk Support with Focusmate, see the next section for a way to request doing Teddy Bear Talk Support with your Focusmate partner.

A workaround for doing TBTS with Focusmate that I've been benefiting from is to use your own voice recorder or the TBTS 3-minute Vanishing Voicemail number: (734) 531-9484‬. Talk to your voice recording teddy bear before and/or after your Focusmate session to benefit from working through your ideas out loud.

Request to do Teddy Bear Talk Support during a Focusmate session

Focusmate allows you to share screen with your partner. Click here for a proposal you can display using share screen after your working time is over. You can use this to see if your Focusmate partner is willing to split time with you where you each take turns getting the chance to benefit from talking out loud to a silent listener.

What are some benefits of doing co-working sessions?

For me, sometimes I use these sessions to work on things that I might otherwise have a hard time getting myself to do. Or, sometimes it's just nice to have some company. Co-working can also get me to be good about taking scheduled breaks. With taking scheduled breaks, you can come to have a better sense for time and how long things take and how long of a session you tend to benefit more from. For taking scheduled breaks whether you're doing co-working or not, try using the timers in the next section.

Audio files for timers for tracking time and/or taking regular 2 minute breaks

Taking 2 minute breaks either every 10 minutes or every 20 minutes has totally changed my life for the better. It's helpful to me that the breaks are contained, and 2 minute time periods have been a great container for taking a meditation break, or get up and stretch break, etc.

To download the mp3s on this page, click on the button in the upper left hand corner of the screen after you click on the links below.

- The quickest and simplest way to give taking regular 2 minute breaks a try is to use this combined-into-one mp3. It is for taking 2 minute breaks every 20 minutes. It is just over an hour long, with three 20 minute time periods and two 2 minute breaks.

- I particularly like finding out when I'm at the halfway point in the 20 minute time periods. So, here's an alternative combined-into-one mp3 that's the same as the previous one except that, at the 10 minute mark, there is an announcement that 10 minutes have passed, and there are 10 minutes left.

If you want to make playlists for more than an hour long, or for taking 2 min breaks every 10 minutes instead of 20, you can use the following mp3s. My playlists have multiple copies of the mp3s, but you can also just set your playlist on repeat.

- This mp3 simply begins with an announcement that this is the beginning of a 2 minute time period and ends with 1 bell after 2 minutes of silence have elapsed.

- This mp3 simply begins with an announcement that this is the beginning of a 10 minute time period and ends with 3 bells after 10 minutes of silence have elapsed.

- This mp3 is the same as the 10 minute one except it is for a 20 minute time period.

- This mp3 is also for a 20 minute time period. But for this one, at the 10 minute mark, there is an announcement that 10 minutes have passed, and there are 10 minutes left.

Marinara Timer


The best Pomodoro app for a shareable web-based Pomodoro timer MarinaraTimer (Web)

Marinara Timer, our pick for the best shareable web-based Pomodoro timer

MarinaraTimer pros:

  • Shareable timer makes it easy to work with other people
  • Surprisingly customizable timers, so you can use it for non-Pomodoro things

MarinaraTimer cons:

  • Very dated web app

The Pomodoro Technique is a personal productivity practice, but it's also incredibly effective for small groups of people working together—either in person or online. You work for 25 minutes, then spend five minutes discussing what you're doing. And repeat. Not many Pomodoro timers are set up to be used like this, however, which is why web-based MarinaraTimer makes our list—despite its dated look. (The developers are working on a new version, though maybe MarinaraTimer is now so dated it counts as retro.)

MarinaraTimer is as simple as it comes: you don't even need an account to share timers. When you open the website, you're presented with three timer options: Pomodoro, Custom, and Kitchen. Pomodoro is the normal 25/5 setup with a 15-minute break after four rounds; Custom lets you set up whatever work/break/rest periods you and your team need; Kitchen is just a simple timer.

Where MarinaraTimer really stands out (other than the questionable design) is that you can share timers. Each one has a unique URL that you can send to your coworkers in other locations. That way, everyone can work off the same countdown. You can customize the link text (just click Manage) and even create an administrator link, so other people can reset the timer as needed.

MarinaraTimer price: Free