Since November 2015 I’ve been working from home. Though working from home has been a theoretical option for years, this is the first time I’ve taken the plunge and done it exclusively.
So far, things have turned out well, despite some initial fears. Would I mix up personal and work spaces? Would I too easily gravitate toward the TV or a frivolous website?
It’s generally accepted that a bit more than average self control may be called for when people work from home. But I don’t consider myself above average in this regard. To compensate for this I try to surround myself in practices and habits that facilitate focused activity around work.
One of standard tools I’ve come to use the Pomodoro Technique. By breaking up the work day into small bits of focused activity I’m able to both concentrate when I need to and also break things up to avoid boredom and feelings of endless toil.
The original Pomodoro Method called for a kitchen timer to keep track of 25 minute sprints of activity. Any mechanical kitchen timer would drive me crazy with its ticking, so instead I opted for the Pomodoro One app on my company’s MacBook Pro laptop.
When starting the app, some indicators are added to the Status Menu that show how many minutes and seconds remain in the next pomodoro.
Right click on the status and select “Show” to display the simple main dialog that shows dots for each pomodoro completed today and VCR-like controls to start, pause and stop the pomodoro.
Press the cog wheel button to configure things such as the number of minutes in a pomodoro and in the break times between them.
The name of the game with Pomodoro is to focus when working and acquire as many pomodoros in a given day as you can. A summary shows the number of pomodoros completed for this week and last:
There’s a lot more involved with the Pomodoro Technique than merely using a tool like Pomodoro One, but it’s a very useful, easy to use and free tool to get you started on being more productive at home, or wherever you happen to work.