My favorite business tool is a timer. I use it when I’m on the phone with coaching clients to warn me that I have another call coming up. I use it when I’m Tweeting or on Facebook to make sure I don’t look up to see the sun set after only “a few minutes” online that started at dawn.
I use a timer to remind me when the wash is done, let me meditate without keeping en eye on the clock, alert me when my free-writing time is up, when the hose needs to be moved from the orange to the lemon tree, when to check on the lemon cake while I’m writing.
A timer relieves you of guilt that your mind can’t be alert on all fronts at the same time, and helps you get there. There is a timer that hangs on the fridge, and it needs to stay there because I don’t want magnets near the computer or iPhone. It’s the fifth fridge timer, and none of them have worked the same way. Usually, I have to pull the batteries out to turn it off, because the instructions are incomprehensible. I can’t hear it from my office. There’s a timer on my iPhone–so clever–but once I set it, I forget the extra step of turning it on.
Now I have my cube timer. It’s a white cube, 2 inches square. It has 4 pre-set times: 5-, 15-, 30- and 60 minutes, one on each side. It also has a zero and a side with an on switch.
You turn it on, and flip it so the time you want shows on top. It beeps once to show it’s on. A red light blinks to let you know it’s working. A count-down timer is on the side with the on switch. It beeps when the time’s up, and you flip it to zero to turn it off. You can turn the switch to “off” to save battery life.
It’s the easiest timer I’ve ever had. Available from Solutions.com. And no, they didn’t pay me to say this.
—Quinn McDonald is a writer and creativity coach. She teaches people how to keep a raw-art-journal, an art journal with your own private symbols.