A timer can offset the negative emotional implications of any task.
If you overestimate, underestimate, or lose track of time, you need to use a timer.
There are three main times when I use a timer:
- when I’m easily distracted
- performing a task I don’t enjoy
- performing tasks that I do enjoy
When You’re Easily Distracted
I use the timer when doing the laundry to keep me focused until I finish. My laundry room is off of the kitchen and unless I’m cooking or cleaning the kitchen, I’m not really aware of what’s going on in the laundry room. I find that using a timer while washing, drying, and folding loads back to back, I’m being the most efficient with my time and can get more laundry done. If I don’t set the timer I may forget that laundry is in the washer or dryer which causes me more headaches in the long run.
When You Don’t Want to Do It
I use a timer when I’m cleaning my four year old daughter’s room. I always get overwhelmed when she’s pulled out all of her toys into the middle of the floor. It seems so overwhelming to get started, let alone finish. But when I think back to times when I have finished it, I remember that it only takes about 45 minutes. So, I set my timer for 45 minutes. When the time is up, I have the freedom to walk away. When washing dishes or working on a project, using a timer makes me realize that it’s not that hard or didn’t take as long as I had thought.
When You Might Spend Too Much Time
If I were watching an hour long TV show I recorded, without commercials, it would take about 40 minutes. I like to know this because then I’m not just “watching TV,” in general – I’m watching one show.
I also will set a timer when I’m posting social media updates to my fan page or working on a project that I could easily get lost in.
Parkinson’s law says “work expands to fill the time allowed.” We all know that you could clean, blog, or get into any project for a full day, but that doesn’t mean that’s the best use of your time.
So I use a timer to hold myself accountable, limit the amount of time I’m spending on a task, and stay focused.
Using a timer helps me to get more done overall.
Timer Resources (affiliate links):
Additional Ways to Manage Your Time:
How do you set aside a specific amount of time to work on tasks?
Read other posts in the 31 Ways to Get More Done series.
Original Photo Credit via Creative Commons License – William Warby & Pascal