As I'm getting myself ready for NaNoWriMo this year, I'm realizing that timers are magic. And I'm not the only one who thinks so!
Have you ever noticed how many productivity methods recommend timers? Sure, NaNoWriMo has atimer, but you can also set up word sprints days in advance! If you're going to be home at 9am (EST) on November 1st, click the button below and sprint with me. Let's give this group sprint thing a try.
Those are just the various places I'll be hanging out getting some writing done. And I'll be doing it 15-30 minutes at a time. There is something fantastic about using a timer that makes the whole shebang seem more vital. It's a race against the clock to battle back the blank page with tons of words.
Did you know that timers have the same magic outside of your WIP? It took tons of self-help and productivity guides spewing the same stuff at me for me to take the timer outside of my writing time. But seriously. It's brilliant.
I have been on and off the Flylady method of house work for years. And one of her favorite sayings that I have found myself parroting again and again is "You can do anything for 15 mintues." You totally can by the way. Knowing the hated chore you're working on will only take up your day for a set period of time, and giving yourself permission to stop after you've dedicated time to it, is fucking liberating in a way I didn't know I needed.
Miracle Morning, the book and lifestyle technique designed by Hal Elrod, began as a way to spend one hour every morning developing himself in different ways. He'd set a timer for things like reading, working out, journaling, etc. If you aren't familiar with the S.A.V.E.R.S., I'd tell you it's worth your time to pick up.
He has various other books with slants on different careers, including writing, and personally, I've gotten something valuable from each one.
Why are people talking about setting a timer and using it to get shit done?
Because it works. Period. Dot. End of story.
I don't know why, and I don't know how. I'm sure there is some kind of chemical in our brains that makes us work harder when we're put up against a hard deadline. Probably something to do with our inherent survival instinct that I don't have the background to talk about. But I can tell you, this timer shit works.
I've been using the Forest App, I talked about a couple blogs ago. Holy shit, is this app amazingly helpful. Know why? It stops you from picking up your phone. If you go to check a notification and leave the app, you'll kill your "tree" or "bush". Anyone ever cried during The Lorax? *raises hand* This app will guilt you into doing your shit and putting the social media aside for later.
I challenge you to set a timer for something you've been putting off today. It's after 3pm my time, so I set a timer to get this blog done. And I'm going to have a happy little tree to add to my forrest in my app in another 8 minutes. Because that's the beauty of the timer, for me. I accomplish more in less time. If I have 6 hours to do something, it will take me 6 hours. If I only have thirty minutes...well, I'll bet I get more done in those thirty minutes than I would have if I hadn't set the timer.
Do you use timers? If you do, tell me what you use. I'm always down for another gadget. If you don't use timers, are you thinking about snagging one now? I'd love to hear about it.