The Trainee Curators programme was set up to diversify the cultural workforce in Cornish museums and historical sites by offering more accessible opportunities to young people. In turn, diversifying the museums audiences and using their collections more widely.
In our new mini-blog-series, we share with you a behind the scenes look at what our Trainee Curators are getting up to now they are having to work from home, due to COVID-19. You can also keep up to date with them on their Twitter Page where they share regular updates and posts.
Next up is Katie Sawyer of Bodmin Keep…
Like so many people, my role as a Trainee Curator at Bodmin Keep: Cornwall’s Army Museum has recently shifted to be digital and from home. This unfortunately means I can’t work with our artefacts, but a surprisingly large number of our projects have converted well to being online.
Although I worked from home during university, I seem to have forgotten how to do it effectively! I can’t even blame my cats for distracting me, as they mostly sleep all day. I’ve tried several productivity methods to help me kickstart my schedule, with varying results.
Split larger projects into mini tasks, solely focus on them for 25 minute bursts, then take a 5 minute break (a Pomodoro). Repeat this until you reach 4 Pomodoro’s, at which point you take a longer (15-30 minute) break.
For me, this is effective at forcing you to focus on a task you’ve been neglecting, as you only have to concentrate for 25 minutes. However it creates more pressure to make every minute productive, and can feel micro-managed. It’s most helpful for jumpstarting difficult tasks.
Eat the Frog
Despite the weird name, this method suggests that you do your most difficult task (the frog) in the morning, so that its over and you’ve started your day productively. For some this might work, but I am incredibly sluggish in the morning, and prefer to gently wake up than throw myself into tasks requiring lots of brain power.
Zen to Done
Pick three ‘Most Important Tasks’ and focus on only them all day until you have completed them, as well as focusing on changing one habit at a time. Unfortunately I rebelliously ignore those tasks just because I should do them. In the end, this method has worked best for me, when combined with an incentive such as watching TV or reading in the evening. So if I don’t do the tasks, I don’t get the reward. Basically I need to use puppy logic of training with treats!
My other big mental shift has been to accept that it’s okay not to be super productive by taking up loads of new hobbies during this weird time. If crafting and learning helps you relax and distract, then great! But equally, if you need to re-read your favourite books and make a blanket fort, that’s fine too. It’s okay to not be okay.
Follow Katie on Twitter