Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Secret Of The Egg Timer


The egg timer has been a permanent fixture in my home since I was a kid. My mother had a white one with black numbers to keep track of her cooking. She kept using the same one for a long time, even after it melted slightly when it was accidentally left too close to a burner.  Now timers are everywhere. Even my iPhone has one. But I still like my old fashioned timer. The kind you turn for however long you want and that makes an almost annoying ticking as each minute disappears into the ether.

I have two. They are both in the shape of an apple. The one in the kitchen is green and the one on my desk is red.

Yes there is a timer on my desk. It is my secret weapon for anyone working for themselves and juggling several projects. Or for that matter anyone who is trying to monitor their Facebook and Twitter time.

Here's how I've been using it lately.

I have a lot on my plate, every one with its own set of deadlines, from my upcoming webinar, to coaching clients, my book proposal, preparing for my June self publishing debut and a consulting project. They all need a portion of my day.  Uninterrupted. No phone calls. No TV breaks.

I decide in advance, either the night before or in the morning,  how much time I need to devote to each. Then I set the timer. An hour of writing. An hour for the consulting project. A half hour of phone calls. A half hour for emails and social networks. You get it. I don't stop until the timer goes off which coincidentally has been about the time I feel I have made some progress. I schedule in my breaks too, which lately have involved a lot of dancing to loud music.

When you are in an office, someone is usually standing over you or at least their energy is, reminding you of what you are supposed to be doing and invariably measuring your progress.

But when you work for yourself, you have only you and in my case, an egg timer.



How do you self monitor when you have a lot going on?
Have you tried the egg timer trick or do you have one of your own?





I was syndicated on BlogHer.com

11 comments:

Colette said...

I use the timer trick all the time. It really works!

Anonymous said...

I use the egg timer to remind me to get off the computer, to time preschool activities with my son or time out my guide dog training time. It works! Great reminder.

Tracy said...

For my job, I bill clients in 1/4 hour increments. So, I'm always watching the clock. The egg timer sounds like a good idea - I'll have to try it! The worst egg timer story I have to share was at a spa. Buzzzzz. Time's up. Massage over. You'd think they would ding a triangle, or something tranquil sounding.

Michael Tuchman said...

I'm going to start doing this. I found your blog from twitter. Thx 4 the great idea.

I work at home 2 days a week, and have been having challenges prioritizing lately.

Alanna Klapp said...

I have an egg timer that belonged to my grandmother, literally in the shape of an egg, white with black numbers. I have a purple bookmark digital timer, and I also use the one on my phone, but there is something about the old-school egg timer. I use it for free writes and whenever I want to get something done, writing-related or otherwise. Thanks for this post.

One Womans Eye said...

Thanks for all your comments! So glad this post resonated with you all!

Aphrodite's Daughter said...

This post is exactly what I needed to read. I feel so overwhelmed these days. I'll try the timer tip! Thank you so much...

Jan Hempstead said...

I agree with using a timer. Maybe I should try an egg timer! I've been using my cell phone to alert me because I can set different sounds. I used to get caught up in various "projects" without realizing how much time had gone by.
I spent years working as an RN in the hospital and every moment is timed there, so the shift to health coaching from home was interesting!

One Womans Eye said...

The thing I don't like about using my cell phone timer is I keep looking at it to see how much more time I have and then I get distracted when I see my emails piling up or text messages coming in. I prefer to just hear the ticking of the timer! It keeps me focused. It's like white noise to me!

Leigh Ann said...

Love the egg timer idea! I am making time today, seriously, and going to buy one.

One Womans Eye said...

It really works!