Rethinking Time: This Timer Trick Saved My Sanity

Timer Trick for saving time

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I’ve always struggled with being on-time. I’m not a morning person, but even for later engagements I always seemed to be running late. I remember feeling helpless, and I remember how it felt that those around me couldn’t really rely on me to be responsible, on time or whatever.

I was constantly late to work, social events, and singing engagements. Not exactly a recipe for success.

However, I’m also a naturally inclined perfectionist. Which means my perfectionist self hate my late self for never being perfectly on-time.

I remember an “aha” moment for me about perfectionism when I heard (on the Oprah show) that many people who are late are perfectionists and over-achievers. Meaning, the reason they are late is they know they can do one more thing before they go: clean one more thing, put one thing away, make one more phone call, etc. . . .

Wow, did that hit home with me. I realized that the time it takes to do something is really twice the amount of time I wanted it to take. So, I started doubling my estimates of time. What a difference that made!

However, when it was time to leave I still struggled with either sitting in front of the door half an hour early so that I wouldn’t forget to leave on time or trying to get stuff done before I left and accidentally missing the time to go.

I hated feeling like I was wasting time sitting around to leave, but I clearly couldn’t trust myself to start anything before leaving.

That’s when I discovered the timer method. I started setting timers that would go off five minutes before I had to go somewhere. That way I could still spend time doing something, and the time would remind me when it was actually time to wind down and head out.

It seems like such a simple thing, but letting the timer take some worry away from my mind was a great way to simplify things for myself and really took a huge load off of my already overly stressed mom-brain.

What tips do you have for managing time better? Share with us in the comments below!