The timer: a writer’s valuable tool

My Iphone has a timer, which quacks when it goes off to alert me the time is up. Yes, it quacks. It’s the one tone I find that’s both whimsical, a gentle reminder, and a sound you don’t often here anywhere else (unless you’re near a waterside)

Since using a timer for things, I find my productivity is way up. So here are a few tips in regards to timers and the best way to use them;

  • If the Internet distracts you- set a timer. Allow yourself 10-15 minutes to surf the web, but when the timer goes off, its time to write (or be productive however you define that).
  • If you get distracted with video games- set a timer. I set a timer when I sit down for Minecraft or Sims 3. It is just too easy to let the hours past while I mine for gold, build forts, or fend off creepers from blowing up my fort. My timer goes off, and I’m reminded “oh yeah…time to get writing done”.
  • If you want focused writing- set a timer. While it offers to remind you to write, you can also set it for blocks of time you are to write on specific projects.  You can also announce to your family “This is my writing time- do not disturb!”, so your spouse and kids understand you will emerge from your cave in due time.

Kitchen timers are pretty cheap to get. You can find both the electronic, or the old fashioned dial type timers.

The Pomodore Technique uses the Tomato timer for all sorts of productivity methods. The technique is simple; set the timer for 25 minute intervals, keep track of your time by checking off when the timer goes off, take a break for 5 minutes, and return to another 25 minutes of productivity.


timer00There are a number of online timers you can use as well. Just remember you must keep the window open in order for it to work.

Try this method to see an increase in your writing and let me know if this works for you.


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