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Strategize Organize LLC
Newsletter Volume 5, Issue 1

Timers - Seven Ways That They Can Help



Does even the thought of going through your papers or clothes make you a little nauseous?  Does someone’s five minute question turn into a 30 minute conversation?  Does a five minute break turn into an hour of web surfing?  A timer is a great little tool that helps us accomplish our (organizing) tasks.

Solution - Seven Ways That Timers Can Help


I - magine – Timers help us imagine ourselves actually acting on a task.  The way they do this is by allowing us to set a limited time for the action.  For example, most people are able to do something for 5 minutes.  Timers give us the signal of when we can stop.


A - ware – Timers help us become aware of how long something takes.  Sometimes a task feels huge; it feels like it takes forever.  For example, it may feel like it takes an eternity to empty the dishwasher but in reality it takes four minutes.  Timers allow us to time a task and see how long it really takes.  


M - otivational –  Timers allow us to play.  We can race against the clock and see how much we can get done.  Or, we can see if we can better our time from the last organizing activity.  Racing, beating the clock, and improving our time are incentives that help motivate us. 


D - read – Sometimes we feel dread when we think about a task.  Timers allow us to set a very minimal amount of time to work on something then slowly increase the time as appropriate.  


E - xcuse – Timers provide an excuse when we need one.  Sometimes we really only have a certain amount of time to talk to someone about a question they might have.  By setting a timer, you can “blame” the alarm for needing to leave.  


F - ocus – Timers keep us focused.  If we find ourselves off task we can set a timer for every 15 minutes and when it dings, we can check to see if we are working on our assigned task.

T - rack – Timers allow us to keep track of time.  Sometimes we get so involved in tasks that we totally lose track of time.  We think 15 minutes has passed when really it has been three hours.   We can set a timer to keep track of the passage of time.  




Timers are great aids.  If you want a reminder of how they can help, you can use the mnemonic I AM DEFT (Imagine, Aware, Motivational, Dread, Excuse, Focus, Track). 


One note


A favorite timer of mine is the Time Timer.  It visually allows you to see time passing.


Good Luck,



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Copyright (C) 2008 Susan Hunsberger Professional Organizer All rights reserved.
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