A countdown timer is one of the simplest, yet most powerful time management tools.
You’ve probably used them lots in your kitchen for everything from timing boiled eggs, to macaroni to cakes. Every dollar store sells inexpensive kitchen countdown timers, your stove has one and they are the primary way a microwave works. But how does a countdown timer help your WORK productivity?
Simple – a countdown timer encourages FOCUS!
Whenever I am going to work on a project, I decide ahead of time how long I will set aside for it. For example, if I want to spend one hour making marketing phone calls, I grab my timer, set it for an hour and push the start button. When the countdown timer goes off, I reset it for the next project and start again.
What About Interruptions? #
When I get interrupted, I simply pause the timer, deal with the interruption and then start up the timer again when I am back.
How Does The Countdown Timer Help? #
The countdown timer helps in these ways:
- Full Time – it ensures the whole hour (or half hour or whatever time I set) is invested in the project I chose.
- Focus – the deliberate setting of the one hour for the project keeps more more focused and makes me come back to what I was doing after an interruption.
- Reminder – it reminds me when it is time to move on to the next project. This makes sure that I am spending the proper amount of time on each project.
- Value – a timer teaches us how to value our time and helps us understand how much we can get done in a very short time.
What Do I Time? #
Here are a few things I time with my countdown timer:
- Marketing time
- Writing time
- Product development
- Administrative time
- Client projects
- Exercise sessions
My timer runs continually during my work day and is often used for personal time as well such as exercising or when I want to time how long I have worked on an artistic project.
What Countdown Timer Do I Use? #
To time my blocks of time, I use a simple, free Android countdown timer app on my Samsung Galaxy Note. In the past, I have also used this browser based countdown timer. But I find it faster to pause the timer on the smart phone if my business phone rings while I am working. than to find the browser tab and pause the browser one.
You can also use simple kitchen timers very effectively.
Get Started Today #
Whatever we measure gets attention and results. So start measuring your time today with a countdown timer so that you can start using your time more effectively. This one simple free tool can totally transform your work day!