Do­ing it at home

Si­mon Tre­go­ning dis­cov­ers the joy of work­ing from home with the aid of a lap­top and an egg timer

Cornwall Life - - CLASSIC CORNWALL -

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.


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