Timer could be one of the most effective weapons in your productivity arsenal. Adam Pash from Lifehacker for example, always has a timer handy to help him get things done. And he indeed accomplishes a lot of things (how many of you can write as many popular software and articles as him?).
So, to help you recognize the importance of timer, here are four ways timer can help you boost your productivity:
- It sets a minimum limit of time to get you start working
If you find it difficult to start working on something, timer can help you focus on doing it for at least a minimum amount of time. Since you tell your mind that you are going to work on it for just a certain amount of time, it will be much easier for your mind to focus.
- It sets a maximum limit of time to not overspend your time
On the other side, if you tend to spend too much time on a task, timer helps you limit the amount of time you spend on that task. This way you can be sure that you will have enough time to get other things done.
- It gives you a sense of urgency that increases your intensity
Using timer imposes deadline on what you do, and as a result your intensity in working will increase. Your mind will be focused on getting the task done in that limited amount of time. As a result, you will trim the fat and do only the essentials to get the task done. This actually is Parkinson’s law at work.
- It allows you to “budget” your time which ensures that each task gets its time
By using a timer you can allocate the amount of time you will spend on your tasks. You can then budget your time to be sure that you use your time in the best possible way to get all tasks done. It works in the same way as budgeting your financial resource helps you ensure that all your financial needs are met in the best possible way.
So, looking at those 4 ways, whenever you need any of these:
- get yourself start working,
- prevent your time from being overspent,
- increase your working intensity, or
- ensure that each task of yours gets its time,
just remember that timer can come to the rescue. Give it a shot.
CoolTimer is simple timer software you can use for free.
Great article! I agree whole-heartedly with the use of the timer, and I am never far from one. However, I don’t just use it for work. I use my timer everywhere!
Your four rules are very true, but I have an additional category, a combination of the min-max rules you have:
I use my timer to do a 15 minutes certain things every day: practicing my instruments, deep-cleaning the house, weeding the garden. I tell myself I only have to do 15 minutes, and that anyone can do anything for 15 minutes. I always stop after 15 minutes, knowing I have done quite a bit, enough to keep me on top of things.
Cool idea, LJ! Your 15-minute rule is a good hack to get us do those little things we always procrastinate doing.
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