A Trick to Find the Time to Prepare Well
A review of the TimeTimer
I was reading a book a couple of months ago on time management called 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management by Kevin Kruse. It’s a good book addressing certain strategies and approaches to manage your time better such as scheduling your daily tasks to make sure that you actually get to them and setting specific times to deal with email or messenger, but I digress. Something which caught my eye was Kruse’s description of a little gadget which some people use to manage their time better. It’s called the Time Timer.
The Time Timer is an analog one-hour countdown timer. (There is now a 120-minute timer also available from the company, but I haven’t tried it yet). You turn the clear button (or a knob depending on your version) to set the amount of time to be counted down and then the red disk slowly turns to indicate the amount of time remaining, literally getting smaller and smaller by the minute. Depending on whether you feel like you can have an alarm or not, you can set it to ring when the time is up (a total of eight beeps).
I find that Time Timer allows me to concentrate on my work without needing to check the time since at a glance I know how much time is left. The red disk is easy to see quickly and allows me to continue what I’m doing without the added distraction in the mix of having to check a watch or a phone and doing some mental math.
I love it both to manage the time when I working/studying as well as to schedule my breaks. I use it primarily to set myself a goal for a set amount of time. For example, say that I want to read 20 pages of a book in the Barreau’s La Collection Droit in an hour. (I don’t recommend spending too much time reading those unless you really have to since they won’t properly prepare you for exam style questions) I set the timer and then by keeping an eye on it, I can generally hit my target. Also, just being able to say that I want to take a 15-minute break to do something else and to quickly set the timer to remind me when that’s up makes the Time Timer worth it. I also used it to work on practice exams with the buzzer feature on to help me get into the habit of finishing the questions in the time (by breaking the exam up into parts and setting a time limit per part) to get used to the “time’s up and pencils down” signal.
To make the Time Timer work optimally, if you want to count down an hour, leave a slight crack of white before the 60-minute marker. In theory, you can use the one-hour Time Timer to count down amounts of time greater than one hour simply by continuing to turn the knob past the 60-minute marker, but I don’t recommend it since it doesn’t always work (the knob gets caught sometimes at the 60-minute marker) and sometimes the timer then takes a bit of finagling to get it working perfectly again. The 120-minute timer is probably the answer to this issue, but I haven’t tried it yet.
Alternatively, you can get the slightly more expensive MOD version which is a tad larger at 3.5″, but which feels much better built and eliminates the problem of the red disk losing its alignment. If you are trying to decide between the two, go for the MOD. Here’s a comparison of the two versions:
There are a number of sizes of the device with face sizes ranging from 3” to 12”. I personally have used the 3” and 3.5″ versions since I consider those to be good travel sizes. There is also a 120-minute timer available too which I haven’t tried, but I may consider in the future. Happy time management!
Time Timer, 3 Inch
Time Timer MOD, 3.5 inch (Sky Blue)
Time Timer PLUS, 7 inch, Charcoal
Time Timer, 8 Inch
Time Timer PLUS, 120 Minutes
(Paperback) 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management
(Kindle) 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management