Day 22: The Timer is EVERYTHING
There are so many gems I’m learning this month but I think the biggest lesson so far is this: the timer is everything. I think it’s kind of ironic because I don’t even wake up to an alarm clock and I created a business and lifestyle so that I don’t have to deal with regular work time. I have the choice to not schedule meetings during traffic hours and I go grocery shopping while everyone else is at work. I’ve carefully designed this life so I don’t have to think about time as much, and this I’m really really grateful for.
But it’s precisely because of my aversion to dealing with time that I’ve run into so many problems. Because I don’t have hard parameters like being at an office everyday at 9am, I can let time escape me. Therefore, my free spirit lifestyle actually needs some serious structure in order to get anything done. Everyone has the same amount of time and yet some people run businesses while raising five kids and others can’t hold down a part time job. Why? In comes the timer.
Diane has drilled into me to use a timer for most tasks, especially if you really don’t feel like doing it. It’s simple, don’t feel like washing dishes? Set a timer for 10-minutes and see how much you can get done before the alarm goes off. Suddenly washing dishes turns into a fun game and guess what? 90% of time I’m done with the task in front of me. It’s so amazing.
Coincidentally, I bought myself the Productivity Planner at the beginning of the year and have been using it religiously to organize my day. The planner is also set on using a timer in 25-minute increments to get tasks done. So if you have a specific task, like perhaps writing a blog post like this, you put your phone away, hide your chats, close all the tabs on your browser and set at timer for 25-minutes. Then you focus. This part is key and see how much you get done once you start the timer. I think I’ve gotten more done this month than I have in the past 3 months combined. Our minds are so scattered with so many things grabbing our attention that honestly this is a very direct way to cut through all the noise. I love the timer!
FYI, I just used a timer to write this post. Something I was dragging my feet on doing because I figured it would take 20 million years to write, edit, publish, share. Guess what? It’s taken me 22 minutes and 34 seconds.
Live Long and Prosper! And use your timer!
P.S. If you are doing your own experiments or you’re interested in doing your own experiments, I made a ginormous list of 100 experiment ideas here!