5 Ways A Timer Can Dramatically Boost Your Productivity
Timers are often perceived as meager tools to aid marathoners or to keep the turkey from burning. It’s not exactly our top-of-mind when we’re piled high with paperwork and deadlines.
However, timers go beyond reminding what could be forgotten or what could be improved. This nifty little tool has the power to transform you from a procrastinator to a full-fledged productivity machine.
If you’re struggling to get more things done in less time and manage to keep your sanity intact, then you’re in luck. Today, we’re going to explore how a humble timer can be helpful when faced with deadlines pounding on your door.
Choosing a Timer
Before we get started, it’s important to choose a timer you’ll consider your companion throughout your busy and busier days. You’re not limited to the classic kitchen timer your family’s been using for ages. Of course, there are the stopwatches, egg timers, Pomodoro-shaped timers and the like.
If you’re looking to go digital, to say there are tons of apps and online tools to choose from is an understatement. Some we highly recommend are Timer+, Ovo, Kitchen Timer and Energy Timer. Just remember to choose one that isn’t loaded with too many features and specs. The last thing you want is getting distracted by the one tool that could get you to churn out more work than ever before.
We also want to remind you that using your phone’s timer doesn’t give you a pass to check for new messages, emails and social media notifications. If you end up using your smartphone, you’re going to have to use app-blocking tools to focus on your timer alone.
- Timers empower your focus
We live in a highly distracting world. It has made focus to become more of a luxury than a commodity. That’s why finding new ways to empower your focus is necessary to knock down all the tasks coming your way, no matter how difficult.
Timers keep you in tune with what needs to get done. It prevents your mind from feeling scattered and rendering you unable to sort out your priorities. Once you have a task at hand a timer set on another, you’re bound to have a better sense of direction and means to stick to it. It’s a tool particularly helpful for those who find it hard not to jump from one task to the next.
For example, you set it 20 minutes to sort out today’s Inbox. When you have those seconds counting down on you, you’re forced to stay on track and focus on your emails and messages alone
- Timers gamify your work
It’s no secret: Work evokes futility more often than we want it to. There’s this unending sense of going around a loop or living the same routine over and over again. That’s why it comes as no surprise that productivity hits an all time low among those workers who fail to find more creative means to get themselves out of a rut.
Using a timer lets you gamify your job. It adds a refreshing layer of fun and challenge in such a way that it removes you from the bland and boring routine. Furthermore, a timer becomes a light at the end of the tunnel you’re now a lot eager to reach. When you set the time to get something done, you’re a lot more up for finishing it.
Others even go as far as setting rewards and prizes to amplify motivation. With better motivation comes an increase in productivity. We highly suggest you try this tip if you’re faced with group tasks.
- Timers prevent you from feeling overwhelmed
When we’re faced with countless things to do, we often wish we could curl up into a ball and disappear for all eternity. However, that’s not how things work. We’re tasked to get things done with flying colors and hopefully, keep ourselves from losing our minds.
Timers go a grand job preventing us from feeling overwhelmed. That feeling of not knowing where to start finally melts away and we can now focus on what needs to get done. All it takes is to start with a 5-minute task and you’ll be warmed up for the next ones.
The trick is to pick which task you should go first. From here, you can set the time and fire away.
- Timers help you understand your limitations
With the amount of pressure and often unrealistic expectations we find ourselves in, it’s easy to feel like we have superpowers. We like to believe that we can get more things done without taking into account the burnout and exhaustion we will experience afterwards. When we do fail to meet these expectations, the amount of self-doubt and self-degradation is too much.
Timers exist for you to understand your own limitations. This tool is here to make you realize that you can’t do everything in one day. That being said, you can finally set realistic expectations on yourself as well as the people around you. Perhaps then, you’d become a lot more forgiving when certain deadlines aren’t met.
- Timers make for better breaks
Productivity isn’t just about getting things done. It’s also about learning how to pace yourself when you have endless lists of things to do. This includes taking adequate breaks in between so you don’t tire yourself out.
Timers allow you to take breaks you feel you earned. Compared to working for a while then goofing off every now and then, having a better sense of structure allows you to feel that you deserve that break after working so hard. Using timers prevents you from spending more time fooling around in the office. Instead, it teaches you how to use your time wisely.
Remember: It’s better to work for 30 minutes straight and take a 15-minute break after than fool around for 15 minutes then rush through 30 minutes of work. In the end, you’ll realize the quality of your work isn’t even up to par.
The next time you have deadlines breathing down your backs, reach for a timer and set it. You’d be surprised how much it can drive you to do more in less time, and still have enough hours for rest and recreation.