A timer seems to be such a simple tool, that it is easy to overlook it in the hunt for a more complex solution. However, a simple kitchen timer can be your biggest friend and productivity partner.
Here are 7 ways your timer can help you
1. Stops Procrastination
If you are feeling resistance to starting a task, set your timer for 5 minutes and say to yourself, “I will just do it for 5 minutes”, you can do anything for 5 minutes. Even the most boring, difficult or scary task.
When the timer goes off, you will probably feel a little annoyed because you were just getting into a groove. Next, set your timer for 10 minutes. Then, 15. Continue to increase the time by 5 minutes until you get to 30 minutes. If at any point you start feeling any reluctance or anxiety, then go back to 5 minutes again.
2. Stops You from Feeling Overwhelmed
Working in short–timed segments feels ‘do–able’. The stress and overwhelming feeling of not knowing where to start melts away. In the same way that a journey of a 1000 miles starts with one step. The way out of your overwhelm starts with 5 minutes.
3. Keeps You Focused
If you are prone to jumping up every time to think of something, then your timer helps you to stay focused and on task. Any tasks that come to mind before the timer rings, write them down on a pad of paper besides you and promise you will take care of them later. The more you use your timer, the less you will think of other things while you are working on a task.
4. Gives You a Sense of Accomplishment
Every time your timer goes off, you feel a sense of accomplishment; which is great because then, you get a shot of dopamine and feel motivated to do more. If you are working on a large project, where the finish line is far away in the distance, the timer provides pit stops along the way, where you get to feel proud of what you have done.
5. Stops You from Feeling Scattered
If you look at your do–to list and it is full of little unrelated tasks, your day can pass by and even though you are crossing things off, you feel scattered and unproductive. A timer gives your day structure. Look at your list and decide which tasks you are going to do in the next 30 minutes. Set your timer and work on those things. When the timer rings, have a mini break and set your goal for the next 30 minutes.
6. Turn Tasks into a Game
When you are faced with boring tasks, using a timer can turn things into a game. Estimate how long you think something will take you, then set your timer and see if you can complete the task (without compromising your standards) in the time allotted or less. You can do this for anything: from paying a bill, to putting away your groceries.
7. Helps You Get Your Housework Done
Your timer will help you with your housework too. Almost everyone I know with ADHD hates housework, but with your timer’s help, you can turn it into a fun game.