You sit down on the couch after a long day of chasing kids, grocery shopping, and being a personal chef.
You grab your phone and tap on Instagram.
“I’ll just take a few minutes to decompress before heading to bed.” You tell yourself.
Next thing you know, it’s 11 pm and you’re still scrolling. Frustration kicks in because you are now missing sleep. And the only benefit to your scrolling is that you now know where Bethenny from RHONY is vacationing.
Ugh…I absolutely hate how lethargic I feel after falling into the blackhole of Instagram.
By the way, this isn’t a post shaming social media. Instagram has become my preferred way of Keeping Up with the Kardashians…
Too much unintentional time on Insta (or any other app on my phone) becomes a time sucker.
Not everything on my phone wastes away time. The one thing I couldn’t live without is my TIMER!
Various Ways the Timer Helps:
Keeps My Social Media Time In Check
Set the timer for 10 minutes before you tap on the Insta/Pinterest/FB app. When it goes off you are done – and haven’t fallen into the blackhole – hopefully.
Motivates Me to Get Started
If I have a project that I really want to work on, but I can’t get myself to start, I set my timer for 30 minutes, sit down and get to work.
I’ll clue you in on a little secret. As much as I love writing and doing this blog, sitting down and actually doing the work can be a struggle for me because my mind tells me that I am going to have to spend hours in front of my computer.
To combat this myth and get myself going, I set my timer and get to work. When the timer goes off, I’m done. I can work more if I want, but I have usually accomplished what I wanted for the day.
Relieves the Stressful Thought, “How much time do I have left?”
In the morning, I’m usually trying to get myself ready while having to be mindful of what time my son has to go outside to catch the bus.
I set my timer for however much time I have until he needs to leave the house, and then I can go on with getting ready.
The timer does the worrying for me so I don’t waste time repeatedly checking the time.
Eliminates Kids Fighting Over Electronics
When both my kids want to be on the iPad, but don’t want to share, I set my timer for 10 minutes.
This way each child has their own time on the device.
I also use the timer as a monitor for electronics. My kids know that when the timer goes off, the device goes away (or is turned off). And if this rule is not followed, the child loses the privilege of using the device next time.
After a few times of receiving the consequence of no iPad, my kids now abide by the timer rule with electronics.
Helps Me Tidy Up
If I have a few minutes before I have to leave the house, I set the timer for the amount of time I have left, then pick-up any lose papers or toys, or do a little meal prep.
It’s amazing how much I can get done in short bursts of time.
Keeps the Kids in Motion
If the kids are really dragging their feet for bed, or just fooling around when they should be going through their bedtime routine, I set the timer for 5 or 10 minutes.
If the timer goes off, and they are not done getting ready for bed, the child loses book privileges (which is kinda hard for me to use as a consequence because I believe so much in books and reading to kids, but this consequence works in our house).
Cuts Down on Nagging
Instead of reminding my kids a million times that we need to leave the library, I set a timer, and let them know I am doing so.
They now know that when the timer goes off they need to say their good-byes and we will be leaving.
Not only does this cut down on nagging, but it holds me accountable to leaving. It’s so easy to tell the kids you will be leaving soon, then get in a conversation, then let them know again you will be leaving soon…and eventually the kids don’t take you seriously.
When the timer goes off, I end what I am doing and we all leave.
Makes Exercise More Obtainable
I enjoy exercising, but their are some days when I will avoid it if I believe that I have to put a lot of time into it.
On those days, I set my timer for 20 or 30 minutes and when it goes off, no matter where I am in the workout, I am done. Of course I can do more if I feel like it, but the timer reminds me that I don’t have to.
I do this a lot for my walks, I will set the timer for 10 minutes, then when it goes off, I turn around and walk back – I get a 20 minute walk in!
Beware – May Create a Slight Fear of the Timer
As you can tell, I am pretty dependent on the timer on my phone. It truly makes my life easier in so many way.
But I think I may be traumatizing my kids a bit. Every time the timer goes off now, they stop what they are dong and nervously ask, “what’s that for?!”
What Does Your Timer Do For You?
If you want to be more efficient with your time and a little less of a “nagging” parent, I hope you will use your phone timer. (This has to be some sort of record for how often the word “timer” was used. I apologize, I tried to find another word for it, but nothing else seems to work as well.)
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And if you love your timer also, in the comments below, share with me how you use it? Or how will you be using it going forward?