Showing posts with label Timer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Timer. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Featured Productivity Tool: 5 Ways to Use a Timer for Success


It's a brand new year. And you are determined to start - or finish - one (or more) of your writing projects. Success is top-of-mind. But how do you set yourself up for success? 

To help you start your year off right, I am sharing one of my favorite productivity tools, as well as some of the best ways to use it: A Timer!

You can get a lot done in focused blocks of time. That's the beauty of setting a timer ... you don’t even need to keep an eye on the clock. Concentrate fully on your work. Then, when your timer goes off, finish what you’re doing, and move on to the next thing. 

Here are Five Ways to Use a Timer to Increase your Productivity 


1. Block Time. Look at your calendar and block time to creative or project-time in the form of appointments. This is especially helpful when you have a book or article deadline. But it's also great for prioritizing ongoing commitments. During time blocks, close out your social media, silence your email, put your phone on Do Not Disturb. Then, set a timer so you can give the project at hand your full attention. 

2. Avoid Social Media Tangents. Let’s face it, although important for marketing your business, social media tends to be a time-suck. You log on in the morning to do a couple of things, you get distracted, and the next thing you know, it’s almost noon. Set a timer for your 15-minute social media appointments, so you receive a reminder to not fall into the social media abyss. 

3. Force Inspiration. Every so often you encounter a project that you can’t quite get into. So instead of spending a bit of time to get it started, you avoid it. This results in stress, not to mention a potential failed project. Set a timer for 15 minutes and force yourself to concentrate on what is perplexing you. Then, when the timer goes off, if you’ve figured it out, start your project. If not, take a breath, move on to something else, and try again the following day. At least the project will be in your head, which will make it easier to tackle when you try again. 

4. Take a Break. It’s important to take breaks throughout the day, whether it’s for a walk, a bite to eat, or an online conversation. However, if you are spending your downtime checking your watch or the clock on your smartphone, you are not actually disengaging from work. 

5. Limit Time-Consuming Tasks. This trick works well for emails and phone calls. Set a specific amount of time for something where time can spiral out of control. When the timer goes off, it’s time to wrap it up and move on. 

Final Thoughts 


In the age of technology, everyone has a timer at their fingertips, because their mobile phone is usually no further than an arm’s length away. 

Ready to get things done? Put your phone on silent, turn off your notifications, hit the start button, and you are ready to go. You'll be pleasantly surprised at how much you accomplish in short bursts of time. 

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For more inspiration and motivation, follow @TheDEBMethod on Twitter and Linkedin for your #Start2022Now Goal of the day! 

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How do you use a timer? What's your favorite productivity tool? Please share in the comments.

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Debra Eckerling is the award-winning author of Your Goal Guide: A Roadmap for Setting, Planning and Achieving Your Goals and founder of the D*E*B METHOD, which is her system for goal-setting simplified. A writer, editor, and project catalyst, Deb works with entrepreneurs, executives, and creatives to set goals and manage their projects through one-on-one coaching, workshops, and online support. She is also the author of Write On Blogging and Purple Pencil Adventures; founder of Write On Online; Vice President of the Los Angeles Chapter of the Women's National Book Association; host of the #GoalChat Twitter Chat, #GoalChatLive on Facebook and LinkedIn, and The DEB Show podcast. She speaks on the subjects of writing, networking, goal-setting, and social media.

Friday, May 18, 2018

The Pomodoro Technique for Getting Your Writing Done


I recently heard of the Pomodoro Technique--something I've done off and on for years, more or less, without having a name for it.

Here's what I love about it:  the name.  It comes from those old kitchen timers that look like tomatoes.  Tomato, in Italian, is pomodoro.  So basically, it's a fancified name for a simple but efficient work strategy.

How to use the Pomodoro Technique:

First, get a kitchen timer (or an internet timer or a fancy Pomodoro App on your phone).

Set it for 25 minutes.

Write until the timer beeps.

Take a five minute break:  walk around, play a quick round of a game, get some water, stretch, pet your cat, etc.

Repeat.

It's remarkably effective, and can be used for many tasks, not just writing.  Plus, it's got a great name.


Melinda Brasher's most recent sale is a twist on Rumpelstiltskin, appearing in Timeless Tales. You can also find her fiction in NousElectric SpecIntergalactic Medicine Show, and others. If you're dreaming about traveling to Alaska, check out her guide book, Cruising Alaska on a Budget; a Cruise and Port Guide. Visit her online at http://www.melindabrasher.com

Thursday, May 10, 2018

How to Use a Timer to be More Productive


Want to be more productive? Use a timer.

When you use a timer to keep track of blocked time, you get rid of any and all distractions ... including the need to look at the clock. You'll be amazed at what you can accomplish.

Here are five ways to use a timer to increase your productivity.

1. Force Inspiration. Every so often you encounter a project that you can’t quite get into. So instead of spending a bit of time to get it started, you avoid it. This results in stress, not to mention a potential failed project. Set a timer for 15 minutes and force yourself to concentrate on what is perplexing you. Then, when the timer goes off, if you’ve figured it out, start your project. If not, take a breath, move onto something else, and try again the following day. At least the project will be in your head, which will make it easier to tackle when you try again.

2. Avoid Social Media Tangents. Let’s face it. Social media is essential for marketing your business. Yet, it's still a time-suck. You log on in the morning to do a couple of things, you get distracted, and the next thing you know, it’s almost noon. Set a timer for your 15-minute social media appointments, so you receive a reminder to not fall into the social media abyss.

3. Take a Break. It’s important to take breaks throughout the day, whether it’s for a walk, a bite to eat, or a water-cooler or online conversation. However, if you are spending your down time checking your watch or the clock on your smartphone, are you actually disengaging from work?

4. Limit Time-Consuming Tasks. This trick works well for emails and phone calls. Set a specific amount of time for something where time can spiral out of control. When the timer goes off, it’s time to wrap it up and move on.

5. Work on Something Fun! Yes, you can also use a timer to give yourself a creative treat. Let's say you have a great idea for a new story or article, but you really don't have that much spare time to put into it. As a reward for completing an important task or action items, instead of taking a physical break, take a 15-minute creative one. And you'll be amazed at how the little bits of time you put into a bigger project add up!

In the age of technology, just about everyone has a timer at their fingertips, because their mobile phone is usually no further than an arm’s length away. Put your phone on silent, turn off your notifications, hit the start button, and you are ready to go.

What is your favorite productivity tool? How do you use your timer? Please share in the comments.

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Debra Eckerling is a writer, editor and project catalyst, as well as founder of The D*E*B Method: Goal Setting Simplified and Write On Online, a live and online writers’ support group. Like the Write On Online Facebook Page and join the Facebook Group.  She is author of Write On Blogging: 51 Tips to Create, Write & Promote Your Blog and Purple Pencil Adventures: Writing Prompts for Kids of All Ages, and host of the #GoalChat Twitter Chat. Debra is an editor at Social Media Examiner and a speaker/moderator on the subjects of writing, networking, goal-setting, and social media.

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