All of us want to be more productive, but it can be difficult to find the right ways. Sometimes we stick to a good plan for a week or two, though all it takes is one frazzled day to get things off the rails and we’re back to our disorganized ways and failing to stay productive. There are some surefire ways to increase production, and one to consider would be to use a timer.
When we think of timers, we tend to think of cooking or something involved with exercise, but what about using a timer for your everyday life? Let’s take a look at some of the ways in which you can use a timer to increase your productivity without falling back into bad habits. It may surprise you just how effective you become in just the first couple of days of using a timer.
One Task Per Segment
There is a method of using a timer called the Pomodoro Technique which many people stick to. The key principle of using this technique is to set the timer for 25 minutes and focus on just a single task during this 25-minute segment.
Let’s say you need to write up a report or clean the house; nothing else should be done during this 25-minute segment besides the exact predetermined task. Each segment is then followed by a five-minute break where you can cool down, give your attention to anything that you had to put off during that previous segment, catch up on calls, etc.
Repeat this four times for a total of two hours, and then you can take a 15-30 minute break, which most people use for lunch. Repeat this once more throughout the day for a full 8 hours and 15 minutes to 8 hours and 30 minutes. Anything that happens afterward is up to you, sort of following a workday schedule.
Shorter and Longer Spurts
If your day is filled with tasks that don’t require a full 25 minutes, you can adjust your schedule to have shorter segments. Try not to do anything shorter than 10 minutes, as doing five minute segments of items every day can be cumbersome to keep track of, while some might not even be necessary. You don’t want to think too much about the timer itself, and your eyes will be glued to it with each segment if they’re too short.
Some also argue that 25 minutes may be too short for segmenting out your day. There are a lot of tasks that require a lot of our time, so they can be extended out into 50-minute segments, but the amount of break time also needs to be increased. It’s best to increase to 10 minutes of rest per segment for every 50 minutes spent on your tasks.
There are several reasons why you should be using a timer, and all of them make absolute sense for your day. Timers help you to stay focused from the start to end while also helping you to avoid working too hard to focus on seeing a task all the way through to completion and perfection.
Many of us focus too much on starting a task and putting off everything else in our lives, including stretching and getting exercise, until the task is complete. If You have a timer, it’s easy to set a finite time to start and finish, and all of your focus shifts to being in these productive segments. Also, you can make a better schedule and set your priorities straight.
Types of Timers
Thankfully, almost all of our smartphones have some sort of time that can help keep us on track throughout the day. It’s the surefire easiest way, especially since pretty much everyone that we know has a smartphone glued to their hip at all times of the day. There are other timers that can be used, too, if you want to go more old school.
Using the microwave is an unconventional method, but is certain to grab your attention when the timer hits zero. Kitchen timers will also work, and you can even set an alarm on your watch. There really is no wrong type of timer to use, as long as you’re adhering to the schedule and not hitting ‘snooze’ or ‘mute.’