put a timer on it



Quick Tip:

Earlier today I was putting off the creation of a deliverable for a design client. Since I got to it in the afternoon, my energy was a little bit down for that sort of work and I wasn’t exactly in the mood to get it done today (it’s due Thursday), though I did have time.

To help myself avoid the procrastination and last minute rush tomorrow or Thursday, I came up with a new solution:

I challenged myself to finish the project in less than 45 minutes. 

Because I track the time for the project for billing already, the time challenge was also working in my client’s favor. The more effective and efficient I was at the task, the quicker I’d cross it off my to-do list and the more money they would save.

Taking the task and putting constraints on it actually made me more energized to do it, and do it well. 

Though I ended up clocking in at 46:37, I was pretty darn close to my goal.

It turned out all I needed to do to get an important, but not urgent task completed was add my own little time restraint challenge. 

Mr. Covey and Mr. Ferriss would be proud.


I wonder where else we could apply this time trick to to accomplish the easily avoidable… maybe scheduling a yearly physical or doing the chores?


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  1. That’s a good idea! At the very beginning of the year, I had a lot of stuff scheduled to do for myself. I used the Fantastical app, and it seemed to work for me, even though I had to change up my schedule most of the time due to scheduling tasks too close together. I fell out of it by the end of January and haven’t picked it back up yet. I hope I can manage to get myself back into the habit, at least by March. I think I’m suffering from winter blues. The cold weather has me feeling more downcast than I can ever remember it affecting me before.

    1. Jess Lively

      Gotcha. I’m sorry to hear about the winter blues. In Chicago we are starting to get peeks of blue sky back every now and then and it’s amazing how much happier it makes me, even when the temps are still cold.

      I’ve never tried/heard of the Fantastical app. Do you recommend it?

    1. Jess Lively

      Yeah, I think I might want to try the chore timer.

  2. Jess Lively

    So true! Like you, I now work to get my workout gear on right after getting out of bed. That way I just need to head out the door with Mr. Lively. When he heads to work, I head to the running trail.

  3. Jess Lively

    Thank you so much for sharing! I love that concept!

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