Brought To You By Emily Parks
Productivity Consultant at Organize For Success, LLC...
Helping You Make Every Minute Matter!

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Use a Timer to Boost Productivity

Maybe you are struggling with procrastination and simply cannot get started. Maybe you get distracted easily and want to better stay on track. Maybe you are overwhelmed by all that needs to get done and are drowning in what you're doing. No matter what might be your challenge for getting organized to boost productivity, a timer might be the most powerful tool to help you get things done.

Here are a handful of ways in which using a timer can help you better achieve your priority goals:
  • Build momentum by getting started - As the old adage goes, activity breeds activity, which means working on a given task to a limited amount of time can propel you to continue working on it, making more progress towards its completion. Working on any task can energize you to get it all done.
  • Eliminate procrastination - When struggling to find time to get started working on a big, hairy, audacious goal, it could be that you are frozen by the thought of all the time needed for the entire project rather than the individual tasks going into that overall project. Setting a timer for 5 minutes, 10 minutes or, even 30 minutes can get the ball rolling on any of those smaller, more manageable action items, giving a more realistic view of how long the entire project will take as compared to the intimidating mountain created in your mind.
  • Shorter work times feel less overwhelming - If the task you have been avoiding is something you really don't want to do, knocking it out in shorter sessions of time can make it much less daunting. I mean, you can do anything for a short amount of time, right? When you envision something you truly dislike doing, it can be much less bad if attacked for a shorter interval.
  • Work harder if for shorter durations - If you have all afternoon to complete a task, it is likely to take that entire time; however, if you set a timer for a much shorter amount of time, you will race to beat the clock. Shorter spans of effort energize greater results, and you are likely to get the task accomplished much more quickly, maybe even finishing the entire task in that shorter amount of time.
  • Compete against prior times to do tasks - When faced with a to-do item that you complete regularly, it might feel more mundane and tend to drag on more with each iteration. If you set a timer for slightly less time than it took to complete the task previously, you race the clock, competing against yourself, and can often get it done more quickly.
  • Stay on task to make greater progress - It is easy to get pulled away from the task at hand, running off on a tangent or following some distraction. Does "Ooooo... Bright shiny thing!" or "chasing squirrels" sound familiar? If so, setting a timer for the length of time you want to invest in any given task can keep you on track; when the timer goes off, if you are still working on the task at hand, you are success, but, if you've followed a distraction, you have to start the timer over again. Set a timer for short intervals and repeat that for whatever number of intervals is needed to achieve your desired result, making sure you are still on task after each interval.
Whether you implement the timer built into your phone, utilize a kitchen timer or try out the Time Timer app, this tool in your productivity toolbox will prove helpful in moving you more efficiently toward achieving your priority goals.

How do you currently utilize a timer? How have you seen using a timer boost your focus and productivity? What are some of your greatest success stories? If not yet, by when can you give a timer a try? How do you envision a timer fueling desired results?

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