When I read the article on getting down to essentials, my mind wandered on to what I would consider my essential tools to productivity. There were three that stood out, and I will talk about each over the rest of the week. My second best productivity tool are timers.
What Are Timers?
Timers are any sort of device that will count down a certain time amount and notify you at the end. My timers include several portable timers, my microwave timer, software on my computer that I wrote, and a timer on a PDA.
How Do I Use These?
I set my timer for two reasons: to get me started on something, promising myself I can stop when the timer goes off; and to limit my time at something, so I don’t lose track of time.
Tips For Using Timers
- Choose a time that seems small, but will be long enough to get something done. I like 15 minutes. I am consistently amazed at how much I can accomplish in 15 minutes, but at the same time 15 minutes never seems too long.
- Pick a timer that is easy to use. If you have to fiddle with it too long, you will spend too much time working with the tool. Choose a timer that you like as well as easy to use.
- Put the timer where you will use it.I have timers everywhere. I have portable timers on my music stand, one in my daughter’s room, one on my laptop, and one in my cleaning supply bucket. I never have to search for a timer.
Timers can serve a dual purpose of getting started on something you don’t want to do, and limiting the things you could get lost on. I recommend you try using one (and I know it seems stupid, but they work!) if you haven’t.
Articles in this Series:
- Essentials to Productivity
- Top Essential Tools #1: Written Routines
- Top Essential Tools #2: Timers
- Top Essential Tools #3: Distraction Blockers