5 Ways that Setting a Timer Can Drive Your Productivity

How Time Limits Can Help You Stay on Task

5 Ways Setting a Timer

You start a task.

But, then you get distracted. Or interrupted. Or whatever.

Before you know it, you are doing everything but the task you intended to do.

Can you stay on the task-at-hand long enough to finish it?

Great Productivity, Great Distractions

The productivity tools we have at our disposal these days are truly amazing. You can run your business from a device that fits in the palm of your hand, and you can accomplish this feat from almost anywhere on the planet.

Yet, with great productivity power comes great distractions.

With your gadgets, you can also receive immediate communications from anyone anywhere. You can read endless news stories. And you browse limitless images, videos, and information.

You turn on your phone with good intentions, but then have wasted 30 minutes checking email, reading Facebook, or surfing YouTube.

With so much tempting distraction, how can you actually concentrate on your work for more than a few moments?

Set Time Limits for Your Tasks

Staying on task takes discipline. It also takes practice.

One of the best ways to train your productivity concentration is to time your tasks. In fact, you should designate a time limit for each task.

To keep you on task, set a timer for 5, 10, or even 30 minutes for the item you are trying to complete.

Here are just a few tasks which are good candidates for time limits:

A timer sets a mental expectation that you can and will stay on your designated task.

Here are a 5 Ways that Setting a Timer Can Drive Your Productivity:

  1. Provides a Singular Focus – A timer sets the expectation that for this window of time, you are going to work on only one thing. Stay on task until the timer is done. Then, you can do other things.
  2. Instills Discipline – Can you stick with a task? Even for 10 minutes? Or even 5? Make it a challenge, a game if you must. But, don’t give up on the task until the timer limit is up.
  3. Drives Productivity – Tasks expand to fit the time you give them. If you only allot 20 minutes for that expense report, you will be amazed how quickly you will assemble things.
  4. Builds Momentum – For tough or unappealing tasks, a timer provides a bite-sized way to get started. You can get started with even 20 minutes of that research project, right? Once you get in motion you will want to continue your progress.
  5. Blocks Interruptions – Use your timer to stop interruptions before they get started. Whether it is a ringing phone, text message, or person at your door, it can wait until after your timer. You can say, “I have 15 more minutes on this task, can you please come back after that?”

Stay on Time and Stay on Task

Timers scare away procrastination.

And time limits keep you on task and increase your productivity.

It does requires discipline. You will need to resist the temptation to use your smartphone for entertainment and other diversions.

Stay on your timer until your work is done, and then you can do other things.

Question: Do you use a timer to drive your productivity? How do you stay on task? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • I’ve used a timer with my family lots of time for cleaning… i.e. “We’ll all clean the house for 30 minutes and see what we can get done.”

    It works great for that purpose. I’ve just never thought to use it the same way for work chores. Thanks for the idea. I’m going to give it a try!

  • Actually, I like timers a lot to, because it tells me when to stop. I can go all out if I know that there is something stopping me. Focus & concentrate to the max and able to avoid those interruptions =D

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  • Using timers is so productive, I think it should be used.

  • Will Reeves

    Great Advice!
    I use the a Pomodoro Timer and follow the Pomodoro Technique, its amazing how much you get done when focusing on only one task and getting into a working rhythm.
    @WillReeves73

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