Try This: Motivate Yourself (and Others) with a Simple Kitchen Timer

It’s true: you can use a simple, inexpensive kitchen timer to motivate yourself (and others!) to exercise, clean, work – whatever it is you need to do      

Credit: Flickr/4worldofoddy

This timer pig is smiling because it can help you with motivation

When we brought the pink pig kitchen timer home from the thrift store, I wasn’t expecting it to motivate me much

Certainly I would use it to let me know when beets baked and cookies crumbled, but it wasn’t until I had it in the house that I realized the humble kitchen timer could do so much more.

Surprising Ways a Timer Can Help with Motivation

Use your timer for its intended purpose. But also consider pressing it into service for these unorthodox tasks.

Clean-up time. Want to get your kids to help clean up? Set the timer for 20 minutes, and make it a contest to see who can pick up the most. 

Bust procrastination. If you’re putting off writing that paper, sending that awkward email or asking for that favour, promise yourself you’ll do the task for as long as the timer allots. (Experts say a clear-cut task is easier to tackle than an open-ended one.)

Start a habit. Did you promise yourself you’d stretch every day, brush for two minutes, or floss nightly? Setting the timer can cue you to perform these acts until they become automatic. 

Ban clock watching. If you’re applying your own hair dye or conditioning mask, it’s hard to check the clock or a watch to see if the treatment has run its course. A timer in the bathroom means no messy hands or water damage to delicate timepieces. 

Refocus. Catching up on paperwork while waiting to return a call? A timer helps you remember what’s left undone even if you get engrossed in another job. (For more tips on how to focus, check here).