Bite-Size tip: Use a timer to manage your time

© Dmitriy Melnikov
© Dmitriy Melnikov

"Time is money". "Time and tide wait for no man".

 

These are familiar clichés that we have heard to death. We know there is enormous truth to these and yet we are hardly the experts at time management. There are just too many balls that we need to juggle with these days and time is a precious commodity.

 

Procrastination is something that many struggle with including myself. Recently I found a strategy that seems to hold much promise. It is a method that someone had shared with me a while ago and I decided to test it out.

 

Today's bite-size tip is to use a timer to manage your time. This simple strategy might just be the key to help you overcome procrastination and better utilize your time. How?

 

Firstly it helps you to keep track of time. For example, I tend to spend an enormous amount of time researching and reading up for inspiration and ideas for my blog posts. This is good for sure but there is an opportunity cost involved.

 

Likewise, the perfectionist in me often spend several hours in writing a supposed perfect post. Using a timer helps me to be conscious of my usage of time and let go of my need to be excessive.

 

Secondly in beating procrastination, I use the timer as well. I am a recovering bejewel addict and God knows how much time I have wasted on this game.

 

Setting a timer for say 20 or 30 minutes helps me to realize just how much time I have used on gaming. It builds a kind of constraint that I am incapable of setting internally. Also when I discover that I have spent like 1.5 hours simply playing a game, I am horrified! Without any form of tracking, it is too easy to waste time.

© Winifred
© Winifred

Thirdly, you can also use the timer when you need to do a challenging task that you have been procrastinating. Suffer for fifteen minutes is an interesting strategy to beat procrastination.

 

In helping your child(ren) to manage time, timer is a useful tool because it is so simple and easy to use. Isn't it common to hear parents telling their children, "five more minutes and you need to stop"? In addition to saying it, use a timer where it is easy for children to see when their five minutes have run out.

 

The timer on the right has been a great aide to me. You can choose any type of timer you wish. The idea is really to instill discipline and thus better time management by implementing an external control. A word of caution; it only works if you obey the timer i.e. stop (and/or review) when it beeps!

 

Give it a try today. If you have any tips for overcoming procrastination and effective time management, please consider sharing it in the comment.

 

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