Throughout my life, I have been consistently told “just take 15 minutes out of your day to work on (insert task here).” However, it was not until I was 25 years old and working towards my second Bachelors degree when I realized the importance of timing yourself.
As stated in my About page, I am currently working full-time and going to school part-time. My first bachelors degree is in Exercise and Sport Science. Now, I am working towards a bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering. Eventually, I would like to earn a Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering. With all the course work and the stress load that I have to handle outside of school, using a timer to pace myself throughout the day has proved to be very, very, very helpful.
The nice thing about timing yourself is that it can be applied to just about any and every aspect of life. For example, it can be applied to your professional life. If you are working on multiple projects time, use a timer to time yourself as you work on each project. If you are a housewife and mother, you can time yourself for cleaning the kitchen, cleaning your bedroom, or taking a nap.
In a way, timers have taken over my life (especially on the weekends)! Right now, I am taking only two classes (University Physics I and Calculus III). Usually when I study, I spend 30 minutes studying Physics, 30 minutes studying Calculus, and 15(+) minutes during a break. It is during these 15(+) minute breaks, I spend time cleaning/organizing my room, working on my blog, working on other social media, eating, and so on.
Since I am constantly on my computer (perhaps a little too much), most of my timers are on my computer. There is an app on most windows computers labelled “Alarms & Clock.” Using this app, I have created several generic timers that are my go-to when it comes to intense studying and working. Below is a graphic listing the names of my timers and how long they are set for.
When you first start trying to get into the habit of setting timers, you are going to feel very unproductive. It will feel like nothing was accomplished in the last 30 minutes. When I first started doing this, that is exactly how I felt. Originally, I started out by setting 30 minute timers. At the time, I only completed about two problems. But this is perfectly fine! Usually, I finish the problem then move on to the next subject. Bottom line, when you start doing timing yourself you will start to feel a little down because you will not accomplish everything on your list within that 30 minutes! It is completely and totally normal. I am here to tell you, hang in there! It will get much easier
Fortunately, There Is Good News!
If (and only if) you keep timing yourself, you will be so much more productive. During each 15 to 30 minute timer, you will feel like nothing was accomplished. If you keep at it, eventually, you will finish whatever it was you set out to do. Not only will you finish, you will also find that you accomplished more than what you have originally intended. Timing yourself allows you to focus on what you are doing without distraction. Taking timed breaks, allows your brain to dwell on what you were just studying. Finally, timing yourself allows you to find ways to make your studying more efficient and effective.
Featured Image: Found on Pinterest.