Doing it at home
Simon Tregoning discovers the joy of working from home with the aid of a laptop and an egg timer
Ever heard of ‘Kettle Genies’? They are responsible for the voice which lures you away from your heavy deadline task to make yet another cup of tea.
I am working from home quite a lot these days and I have noticed that the genie’s call to the kettle is that bit louder at home where I have less background noise and fewer witnesses. I know that I am not alone, there are a lot of us working from home in Cornwall. Apparently, we are above average because we have 50% more self-employed workers than the rest of the country. And it is not just the self-employed. There are times when I have risked the Truro morning rush hour on a Friday only to whisk through unimpeded and have to kill 20 minutes in a Costa – now they have really loud Kettle Genies – because half of Truro’s workforce are at home staring at their laptops with their hands over their ears.
A chap called Francesco Crillo has the answer for us all. He invented a time management tool called the Pomodoro Technique. But first, I feel obliged to answer the pressing question of how a management methodology came to be named after an Italian tomato? Well, that was the shape of the egg timer that Mr Crillo used to manage his time.
You might be thinking that Francesco’s system relies on the ticking of the timer to drown out the sound of that pesky genie. It obviously helps, but that is not entirely it. This is how it really works. Set the timer to 25 minutes and get down to your task allowing the gentle ticking to massage your focus. When the timer rings, step away from the task for five minutes and record your ‘Pomodoro’ with a satisfied flourish. Again, keep it simple, a pencil tick on a piece of paper are best. After the break (tea or other) set the timer for the next 25 minutes and get your head down. Once you have marked up four Pomodoros reward yourself with a longer break of 15 to 30 minutes.
Who knew, after all the angst and studies about low productivity, all that was required was a pencil, a piece of paper and a tomato-shaped egg timer. So, get online, order your egg timer and start ticking off your Pomodoros. Alternatively, put a tea cosy over your kettle.