April 2012: Spring Into Shape
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A Countdown Timer Helps Maximize Productivity

Timer with red dial stainless steeMeet my new best friend, Tommy Tempus, an old fashioned countdown timer! This shiny little guy and I spend a lot of fast, fleeting moments together doing all sorts of things.

He's happy to patiently sit on my desk ticking away the seconds with a low, steady repetition of clicks. He's even thoughtful enough to give me a five-minute warning with a pretty bell ping to tell me my time on a task is almost up. Whether I'm tweeting, posting on the Facebook timeline, reading blogs like Let's Get Deals Today and The Nancy Way {BTW: both share great info!}, writing, or sorting through paperwork, he keeps track of the minutes so I don't have to.

At first, I thought he might get on my nerves, but once I got used to his particular rhythmic beat, it morphed into a wonderful white noise that allows me to focus. In fact, he's hard at work right now as I write this article for you.

The best part is that Tommy enjoys his time out of the office, too. He helps me fold laundry, make homemade granola, and straighten up the house. He is so helpful that he's ready to be wound up for anything else on my To-Do list that can be completed in a quick, efficient, and timely manner. It's not about rushing; it's about concentrating your mind and your minutes.

Tommy is always on the clock and never complains about where we are or what we have to do. He doesn't even mind shopping, listening while I'm on the phone, or waiting for me to finish my makeup... Now if I could only get him to hold my purse!

While digital timers will work, you'll waste time trying to figure out how to program most of them, plus some require batteries or charging. If you don't have a simple, portable, hourly egg-timer type of friend, then get ready, set, and go buy one this minute… In fact, you might even be able to take home one of Tommy's cousins, also known as the Amco 60 Minute Timer.

Using a countdown timer will help control task time as you move through your work and home To-Do lists, you'll save precious hours and maximize your productivity. Tempus Fugit... So Carpe Diem!

How do you keep track of time? Do you use a countdown timer? Share your tips!

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Luci Weston

@Louise Myers: Thanks Louise! At first, you may feel like it is giving you more pressure, but after you get a few things done quickly & efficiently by "beating the clock" you will start to reach for the timer a lot! It really does work, especially with tasks that are more automated vs. detailed. Try it and let us know how it works for you. :)

Louise Myers Graphic Design

I love your retro timer, Luci! This is such a great idea that I need to adopt. I've been worried that it will make me feel even more time-stressed, but I'll have to try it!

Luci Weston

@HSD: Thank you! Glad to have you at HWA. :)

High School Diploma

Amazing post and very interesting stuff you got here! I definitely learned a lot from reading through some of your earlier posts as well and decided to drop a comment on this one!

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