Do you want to get more done each day? Do you need to stay more focused on the tasks that matter? The best tool I have seen for doing this is a timer. I used to think that using a timer was for making sure that dinner didn’t come out a charred mess and seeing how fast you could run on a track. However, using a timer can help your entire day be more productive. Here at Light N Hope, our goal is to show you ways you can make your life easier and happier using strategies that take only 15 minutes each. Why 15 minutes? Most of us can find 15 minutes in our day to work on something that will increase our overall well-being. Plus if you are working on something that may not be your favorite thing (hello, organizing your junk drawer), 15 minutes is long enough to make progress but not long enough to prevent you from beginning the task in the first place.
What are some benefits of using a timer?
- Not losing track of time: How many times have you sat down for a 15 minute break to look at Facebook and 2 hours later you realized that you were still scrolling through everyone’s posts.
- Making it to appointments on time: If you know that it is going to take you 30 minutes to get ready and 15 minutes to drive to your appointment, set you timer for an hour before you need to be there. This gives you time to get ready and time to drive with a built in 15 minutes in case anything doesn’t go as planned. For more on giving yourself a 15 minute buffer around activities check out my post, The 15 Minutes That Will Change Your Day!
- Working faster: If you know that you are only giving yourself an hour to complete a project at work or to clean your house, you will work more quickly if you have a deadline. Having a definite beginning and ending time will cause you to work swiftly to get everything completed during that time frame.
- Seeing how long things really take: If you think you could get your laundry folded and put away in 10 minutes and it takes 20 minutes you will know next time that you need to plan more time for this activity. This way you don’t pack more into a day than you could possibly accomplish.
- Realistically schedule your day: When you know how long tasks take, it is much easier to create a schedule for yourself that is realistic. You will know that planning to go on a play date with your 3 year old, wash, dry and fold 5 loads of laundry, clean the kitchen, organize the hall closet, go grocery shopping and make a homemade dinner is not all going to happen in one day. When we have an unrealistic amount of tasks planned that we couldn’t possibly accomplish in one day we end the day feeling defeated when really we didn’t have any chance of getting all of those things done in the first place.
Many cell phones have a timer feature available. If you prefer one that isn’t tied to your cell phone, here is an option that lets you time up to four different things at once.
If you don’t use a timer, get one today and have a more productive week! Let me know how it goes!