Search 72,575 tutors
FIND TUTORS

A tool that creates focus and curiosity. Find it in your kitchen!

This works for:
  • Procrastinators
  • The constantly distracted (who isn't these days?) 
  • Approaching those tasks we don't want to do...

You can help your child or your student, and it will work for you just as well! You'll need to try it for yourself to experience the effects, since it works opposite to common sense.

This magical tool is the egg timer from your kitchen (or the timer app on your smart phone.)

How to use a timer to create focus:
Step 1 – Set the timer to 5 minutes. Tell yourself that you are going to work on your task, and your task only until the timer rings.
5 minutes is surely not too long to not answer a phone call or a message, to not go and get a glass of water, to not stare at the tree swaying in the wind outside your window.
You may think that 5 minutes is not enough to get anything done, but bear with me.

Step 2 – When the timer rings, drop what you are doing, even if you feel the need to continue. Get up, walk away. In fact, you may be surprised by a need to continue on a task you didn't want to start. Resist the urge!

Step 3 – repeat again later.

That's it!

Try it, and let me know what, if any effects did you experience.

Select the time you put on the timer to be “very short” as compared to the time you think you need. It may be 15 min, or a mere 2 min. Then apply yourself wholly for the full stretch. After the ring, get up, and later compare how you feel now, relative to how you felt before.

How it works:
You may have used a timer before to be the “bad cop”, and keep your behind on the chair for a longer stretch. Here, I'm using it to create the opposite effect – to pleasantly surprise you and tell you it's time to go play. Each pleasant surprise builds more interest in the task, and it gets easier to come back.