Thursday, July 31, 2008

Efficiency/Effectiveness tip: start the timer

I often work with a timer running. It's a kitchen timer that has a count-up feature. It tracks how long I spend on things. I have to pause the timer when I switch to another task, because I need an accurate record of how long I spent on some tasks. In particular, I need to know how long I spend on each billable task each day.

I've found I can sometimes get more done if I just go ahead and start the timer for a specific task. Rather than getting good and ready to get going, I'm now doing it. Because the timer is running, I need to be working on the task. And I'd really rather not stop the timer and go do something else, so I tend to stay working on the task at hand.

The timer's counting reminds me that I'm working on a specific task. It makes it easier for me to keep working on that task.

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