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Seven Reasons Why a Countdown Timer Can Be Your Best Personal Coach

By Gary Singer

The word time management is a broad term used to apply from a wide variety of subjects ranging from list management and even encompassing personal energy management. Though these are all important, in this article I want to talk about actual time management. Time management is the science of managing the specific moments of the day.

In this article I'm going to address a simple, inexpensive tool which is available everywhere which can do wonders in helping us actually manage time. This tool is the simple countdown timer. The proper use of this device can make major differences in the amount we get done during our days and in our lives and can increase our happiness and reduce our stress.

Seven reasons why using a timer is really smart:

1) A key part of improving and handling anything is to become aware of it in the first place. Confront is a central tenet to handling anything effectively. This includes time. A good example of this would be going on a diet to lose weight. Though what we do, reducing calories and increasing exercise, are important one of the key reasons why diets work is that it makes us become aware of what we are putting our mouths. We stop the idle munching which is a habit so easy to fall into. Just as we can mindlessly consume food, you can mindlessly consume the hours of the day. A great value to the use of a timer is that it forces us to confront each second, minute and hour of the day as though it is something important. The truth is, those units of time are important.

2) We accomplish our missions in life by breaking them into doable steps. Great success is achieved in stages, in degrees and in steps. Using a countdown timer helps us break time, an apparent continuous stream, into manageable parts. By looking at our actions this way, with the use of a countdown timers, we will increase our effectiveness immensely.

3) The proper use of a timer includes the firm decision to not stray from the specific task assigned to the specific time period. Just as in a diet we commit to certain limits to our caloric intake or to the types of food that we eat, our use of a timer, and our commitment to its use, is a tool which helps us keep faith with our own decisions as to how we intend to use the hours in our day.

4) Countdown timers help us to see tasks as activities which consume time. Just like looking at the calories of the doughnut helps us determine if eating it is actually worth it, our estimating the amount of time a given activity will take helps us to decide when or if even do something. Timers impose a sort of order on our time. This order can go a long ways to reducing the stress of our lives.

5) Countdown timers help us to spot wasted time. Interruptions are really inevitable as we live our lives. These can get out of hand. The use of a timer allows us to get control over what we're actually doing with our time. It is not unlike keeping a diary on your diet and noticing what you're actually putting in your mouth. Same thing with a budget and money management. Using a timer puts focus on how we are using our time helps us to spot those wasted moments.

6) Using a timer allows us to understand the nature of action. All tasks, all actions that we do or take during the day are actually cycles of action. A cycle of action always has a start, a change, and a stop. This understanding can impose a an amazing amount of sanity into how we operate in our lives. A timer is an excellent way of emphasizing this basic truth of life.

7) We want to do fun things. We want to loaf. We want to take naps. A timer is a great way to set aside an amount of time to do these things and to do them without guilt. Decide to loaf and set the timer for that certain period of time. It is no different than limiting dessert. We deserve dessert, but we certainly don't want to make a habit of consuming too much of it. Loafing is similar. A countdown timer is a great way to accomplish this.

Setting a countdown timer and keeping an eye on it is certainly not a new concept. Chefs have been doing it for years. Many people have also used the technique for day-to-day living. You may have heard of "The Pomodoro Technique". This is a time management system this been around for many decades. The timer is a fundamental part of this technique. If you are curious, look it up on the Internet. Timers are easy to find. We can find them in our smart phones, or go down to a Walmart or RadioShack and buy an inexpensive desktop model which can be an amazingly valuable investment. There are timer apps that are part of browsers or which sit on the desktop of the computer. The key is to find one and use it.

Though a timer, used properly, will go far to improve the quality of our lives, the addition of a little bit of daily planning along with the use of a timer will multiply the usefulness of that timer at least tenfold.

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