One of the most underrated productivity apps that come pre-installed on your PC and your mobile phone is the clock app On Windows 10, this app is named Alarms & Clocks, and serves as a World Clock, Alarm, Timer and Stopwatch for users of the operating system.
For the purpose of this article, we’ll be looking at the timer app, and some of the ways it can boost your productivity. Setting a timer is a good way to help yourself get along with a task, even more than a to-do list does. It constrains you, and gives you an idea of how much time you’re actually spending on certain tasks.
There are several ways one can use the timer feature to be productive, but it all depends on yourself. One of the most popular methods of timing yourself is the Pomodoro Technique. The Pomodoro timing technique is built around allowing the user a certain amount of time for a task — typically 25 minutes. A break should then be set, ideally for 5 minutes. You can repeat this up to four times, before taking a break for 20-30 minutes. The idea is to consistently commit to a consistent pace of work of a fixed amount of time, with breaks to account for mental fatigue.
While there are many apps in the Windows Store which imitate the Pomodoro technique, with the built-in Microsoft timer, all you need do is set two timers. One timer can be set to account for the work interval, another timer clocks the breaks, and you are essentially covered for the most part.
You also have the flexibility to design your own timing schedules and break strategies around your own personal needs, and you get to keep your storage space. For example, when writing short general news pieces, I tend to set a 3-minute timer to produce a first draft which I then edit into shape and cut down. Any longer and I suspect I may lose interest and move on to another topic. This is a personal example of how timers have helped me practice discipline when working and carrying out writing-related tasks.
You can read a little more about the Pomodoro technique and time-management here if you’re interested.
Random Cooking Tip: Setting timers are also useful for cooking, especially if you often cook the same dishes over and over again. You could simply set multiple timers on your Windows PC, or timer app on your Android and iPhone. These then serve as pre-sets which you can then trigger them when necessary. It seems a bit banal, but many apps are built on the premise of you being too lazy to type in the average time it takes to boil an egg into your phone or tablet.