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Double Time! Why Two (or More) Time Timers Are Better Than One

Posted by Christen Barbercheck on

We truly believe being able to see time with a Time Timer can be life-changing. There’s no other productivity boost quite like seeing the minutes actually disappear when you set a timer for 20 minutes and a colorful disk disappears. But we also believe the only thing better than one timer is two or three or, hey, maybe even four timers.

Whether you’re looking to transform life at home, at work or in the classroom, we have some tips and ideas for taking it to the next level with multiple countdown timers. You might just find a 5-minute timer is the perfect complement to a 20-minute or 60-minute timer. Each has its own strengths and secret productivity powers.

Less Hectic Family Time? Try a Family of Timers

If we learned anything from Goldilocks, it’s that one choice doesn’t fit all. This is just as true with timers as it is with porridge or chairs. So how can you maximize this rule at your house to create a less hectic environment for your busy family? Start by helping your kids take charge of time by giving each one an age-appropriate and fun timer.

A kindergartner might need a Time Timer PLUS 5 Minute to help her focus during the morning bathroom routine. Maybe your fourth-grader would benefit from the Time Timer PLUS 20 Minute when he practices piano. A high school sophomore can probably handle the Time Timer PLUS 60 Minute for writing essays. And mom and dad? Go for the Time Timer 120 minute for those in-depth work projects or starting to Marie Kondo the basement.

The real beauty is that everyone in your family can start timers at the same time to tackle different activities. Each person benefits from having a visual aid for independently tracking time. You can even give your older children instructions for multiple time periods—say 20 minutes of piano followed by 20 minutes of screen time.

Group Learning with a Group of Classroom Timers
We’re constantly inspired by teachers! These next two tips come from stories shared by our customers, who leverage classroom timers in more exciting ways than we can count.

First up, the Time Timer PLUS 20 Minute is a great tool for helping teenage learners stay on-task. Try using it as a daily ritual for independent work. Start the 20-minute timer as students walk in the classroom and let them know this time is for writing or another well-defined task. The timer’s disappearing blue disk automatically supports focus and a sense of urgency.

A second honor-roll worthy idea? Invest in a few Time Timer PLUS 5 Minute timers to set around your classroom. Many teachers use them to facilitate small group work or discussions. Start the timers as students break into groups of two or three to discuss a book, article or other idea. They can easily glance up to see how much time is left. This visual cue helps focus students of all ages—especially if they’ll be called on to present when the timer dings!

Watch the Clock? Nope. Watch the Timers!

We’ve all been guilty of watching the clock at work, but sadly, this doesn’t help our to-do lists get any shorter. What we really need are some productivity tools to help us stay focused—and be more effective—when we’re at the office. Then we can leave on-time, or maybe even a little early, with a guilt-free conscious. Luckily, we believe a couple meeting timers might do the trick.

First, we challenge you and your team to keep your regular meetings—those daily or weekly check-ins—to a brief 20 minutes. Set the Time Timer PLUS 20 Minute and end the meeting when the disk disappears (no matter what). Think it’s impossible? Check out our article on daily stand-up meetings for some techniques inspired by the tech world.

OK, we know. Sometimes you do need longer meetings. You’re working on a difficult strategic problem or brainstorming for a complex client project. We’re not urging you to keep those meetings to 20-minutes, but we do recommend setting a detailed agenda with time limits for each portion of the meeting. Then use a timer to stick to it. We recommend the Time Timer PLUS 60 Minute to keep your team on track. Even if you’re hosting a half-day workshop, you’ll want to take at least 5-minute break every hour.

Are you ready to add a second or third timer to your life? They really do work better in teams.


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