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Monthly Archives: October 2010

Daily Report: Wed.Oct.13,2010.

Yesterday was excellent.  I used an actual wind-up mechanical timer to create 30min periods of focus on one task, and rewarding myself with guilt-free breaks after each one.  Not only did I get more work done in one day than I have in a long time, but I also realized that I totally under-estimate how long things take to get done!  I was going to write two reports yesterday; in fact, I got half-a report done.  No wonder I’m always missing deadlines.

“Timers keep you honest about time.”  No kidding.  I’m going to keep using the mechanical timer today.  In fact, I hope to keep this up for 3 weeks (it’s the ol’ “it takes 3 weeks to adopt a new good habit” thing).

For the record, the big, chunky, ticking, impossible-to-ignore mechanical timer works better than the little app that i was using before and that sat quietly in my system tray until it went off.

Wishing you all high productivity, low stress and guilt-free breaks!

-Johnny 0.


I’m quite sure that hunters & gatherers and early agrarians never struggled with procrastination.  Hunger is a strong motivator.  But we in the modern age have to battle our human natures in order to sit still and be “productive” for eight hours a day.

Here are some good reasons to use a timer at work.  Use a Timer as a Productivity Booster and Sanity Minder (  You should read the article.  I’m just going to summarize it here for my own reference:

  • Timers are Workload Containment Units
  • Timers enforce commitment to one task
  • Timers keep you honest about time
  • Timers make breaks better

Good advice.  Cross reference with “the power of focus,” and “work will expand to fill the time allotted to it.”  Let’s be careful out there folks, and don’t forget to prioritize.

Well, time to get back to work.  Tick tick tick…

-Johnny 0.


Article in The New Yorker, linked and summarized by Lifehacker:

The Many Reasons We Procrastinate, Including the Multiple Selves