Timers, in this age of very limited time, unlimited Internet distraction, and electronic ADHD, are making a roaring comeback, whether they’re simple tomato kitchen timers or fancy electronic doohickeys.
We’re big believers in the Pomodoro Technique, where one focuses on one task at a time for 25 minutes uninterrupted. In fact, we ordered a bunch of tomato timers to give away to the initial viewers of our online CLE, “Seven Ways To Make Law Firms More Productive”.
37Signals featured a couple of meeting timers to show you how much money you’re blowing during meetings. (Or in the case of hourly work, I guess how much you’re raking it in). If you’re working flat fees, you may wanna think about taking a look at these. Either way, they give immediate monetary feedback about what you’re doing and illustrate the often illusory and fleeting tangible value of yakking with colleagues.
Interestingly enough, the post mentions that Mayor Michael Bloomberg favors stand-up meetings to reduce time. We use a daily morning status meeting where we stand up, but it’s interesting to think about incorporate a no-sitting policy into the majority of our yak-fests.
As an indicator of the importance to which productivity junkies attach to their timers, Lifehacker recently polled their readers on their favorite timers for the Windows platform. The champ? Something called FocusBooster.
We’re major fans of timing work ourselves, and serving attorneys, we’ve built ever more streamlined timers into our own legal productivity application. Our standalone timer has been there since day one, but last month, we rolled out inline timers so that whether you’re working on a task, a document, or phone message, you can start a timer and stay focused.
If you need extreme inspiration, take a look at this NYTimes article on Jim Collins, author of Good To Great and business writing demigod. This is a story of time tracking taken to it’s furthest extreme. The dude breaks down his day, seeking optimum creativity time and even tracks how much he sleeps.
Feeling overwhelmed? Just set a timer and start cranking. And the following book may help: