Friday, November 15, 2013

Thirty Minutes and a Timer

What do you do when your To-Do List is way longer than you know you even remotely have time for?

How do you make sure you stay on task when studying your Bible, praying, or memorizing Scripture?

How can you make time for bigger projects like crafts, sewing, or major cleaning out?

Thirty Minutes and a Timer

It works!  I feel sure I have blogged about this before, but I have recently begun using my timer for more and more things.  I use the clock app on my iPhone.  It has a timer and a stopwatch.  My children like to shock and surprise me by changing the end of the time tone.  Sometimes what they pick startles me! 

Here are some ways that I currently use my timer.
  • Each morning I set the timer for 5 minutes and update my To-Do List for the day.  That is the very first thing I do each morning, so when I begin my Bible study, I am not distracted thinking of what all I need to remember for that day.
  • Next, I set the timer for 10 minutes to write in my thankfulness journal and then pray.  I have a list of people who need prayers in the back of this journal.  I just go down the list and pray for each person and situation.  I leave a sticky note to mark where I stop.  When the timer plays its tune, I close the journal.
  • Then I set the timer for 10 minutes again.  This is when I copy and read Scripture and take notes. 10 minutes--and then I stop.
  • Then final 10 minutes of my Bible time I use for memorizing Scripture.  The children and I work on a passage each week, and they learn so much faster than me.  I need time in addition to the time we spend together in learning the verses.  
  • For sewing:  I am still working on the pillows and drainage bags for mastectomy patients!  When I do sew on them, I set my timer for 30 minutes.  I have a sewing area in my basement, so I can leave everything all set up.  So, I am able to use the entire 30 minutes on actually sewing.  But when I had to sew in a common area of our house (the schoolroom table or the kitchen table) I would set my timer for 25 minutes, and then use the last 5 minutes to clean everything up.  You would be surprised at how much you can accomplish in 30 minutes.  Just grab the 30 minutes whenever you can--after supper before bedtime, after the kids are in bed, in the afternoon before time to cook supper, etc.  A little bit here and a little bit there--it all adds up.
  • I will use my timer as I begin wrapping Christmas gifts.  Again, I have an area where I can leave it all out, but if I didn't (and I used to not have this area), I would allow a few minutes at the end for clean-up.
  • For bill paying and various "office" type work.  Again, if I know that I only have 30 minutes for this task, I am less likely to get distracted by unrelated emails and websites!
  • For cleaning out a closet, drawer, refrigerator, pantry, etc.  Thirty minutes of work in one of these areas is certainly better than nothing. 
Basically any task that you have, whether it is unpleasant (like cleaning out the garage!) or fun but overwhelming, can be accomplished with thirty minutes and a timer.  The key is to stop when the timer says stop.  If you do "just a little bit more", before you know it you have spent and hour on the task and then you are behind on whatever else you need to be doing.  And, thirty minutes is not a magic number.  If all you have are 15 minutes, then set your timer and get to work for 15 minutes.  If you wait until you have a huge block of time to accomplish an entire task, you may never get to it.  It's better to work a little here, and little there, and eventually get the job done!

Don't procrastinate.  Set the timer.  Do the work.  :)


  1. I do a lot better accomplishing needed tasks this way as well. I'm easily distracted, so this method fits my personality! :)

  2. You seriously rock! This changed my entire Saturday-chore day!

  3. Roan,
    I would LOVE to reprint this post at! If that's something you'd consider, would you email me? ( Thanks!!

  4. I never found such a great and amazing content and fabulous solution to my problem.......really giving a different idea in applying ideas in planning a systematic way. thank you !

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