Last Updated on: September 20, 2023
- A desk timer can be a useful tool to boost your productivity and improve your focus.
- A desk timer can also complement the Pomodoro technique.
- Always monitor your progress. You can’t improve what you can’t measure.
There are many ways to be productive, but there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to productivity. More often, it requires a mix-and-match of different techniques.
This digital age has brought procrastination to a new level, making it harder and harder to focus and concentrate on the more important things in your day.
Personally, I love using the Pomodoro method on my phone or my computer, but sometimes, it’s just easier for me to forget that I have a timer and proceed to procrastinate – this is where my desk timer came in.
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Why a Desk Timer for Productivity?
Recently, I was getting sucked by my phone for hours because of a game I was playing. I soon implemented digital minimalism again and uninstalled the less frequent apps I use.
Then, I realized I needed to rebuild my productive habit by using the Pomodoro again. But instead of using my phone or a laptop app, I used a desk timer I bought online for only P69 (excluding delivery).
My rationale behind using a desk timer instead of an app on my phone is that it makes me more conscious of how I spend my time and if I’m doing the tasks on hand.
So, if I am doing a basic Pomodoro session of 25-5, where I will work for 25 minutes, then rest for 5 minutes, the desk timer acts like my little “supervisor.”
And with the work-from-home setup, a simple desk timer can drastically improve our productivity. It can also pose a challenge to do things faster by beating the clock because the alarm sound can be a little annoying.
How to Use a Desk Timer for Productivity
First, you’ll need to buy a desk timer—no need to be too fancy. You can also buy the same cheap clock I am using.
Step 1: Delegate a Time. Ask yourself, how much time do you intend to allocate for your task at hand? Since this productivity tool is only a supplement, you’ll still start where you’re from.
So, if your usual focus time is only about 30 minutes, don’t try to overdo yourself by setting a 90-minute countdown because you’ll likely fail.
Step 2: Add a break. In the Pomodoro technique, you’ll have 25 minutes of focused work, followed by a 5-minute break. The idea for the break is to give yourself time to relax now and then as a reward for productivity.
Normally, I’ll tell you to respect your break, especially if you’re working on tasks that can be paused.
However, I realized that some activities, like writing, will require some time before you can get in the zone, and it would be harder to get back to it if you take a break. So, it’s your call.
Step 3: Monitor your progress. The last but most important thing to do when using a desk timer to boost my productivity is monitor your progress. It’s been said that you can’t improve what you can’t measure.
So, by constantly monitoring how much work you’ve done throughout the day, whether for work or personal consumption, you can be proud of yourself for what you’ve accomplished.
Is Using a Desk Timer For My Productivity Effective?
Again, it will vary from person to person, but it can work wonders if you remain undistracted and respect your desk timer.
For instance, I wrote this post’s first 600-700 word first draft in only two 15-minute sprints, a total of 30 minutes – I type fast.
However, if I’m not timing myself, the same number of words may require more time, as I am prone to losing focus if I start using my phone.
Another purpose of this desktop tool is to push me just to write. It challenges me to be more productive, knowing I will write how many words I wrote during the previous sprints.
Productivity Hacks While Using Your Desk Timer
1. Always have a pen and paper nearby.
While working, there will always be instances when your mind will start to wander, and you’ll get out of focus.
It may be about another task, a call, an idea for a new blog post, or something unrelated to the task at hand.
If this happens, you’ll just write it down on paper and save it for later. This way, you’ll not be distracted from your main task.
2. Keep your phone somewhere where you can’t see it.
Our phones are some of the greatest distractors of our time, so if you need to focus, it is best to keep them out of sight. You can place it in a different room or a box. The important thing is that you can’t see it.
3. Keep your table tidy.
Another way to be more productive is to keep your workspace tidy. Remove the unnecessary things that are distracting you from doing your work. It can be papers, books, toys, or anything you’ll not need in your current work.
A desk timer is a simple yet effective tool in helping me be more productive in writing; hopefully, it will also work for you. Keeping it simple in a more complex world like what we live in now can be your unlikely solution.