We have roughly five timers strewn around the house. The kids and I use them constantly.

When one of the kids asks if he or she can play on the computer, I automatically respond, “Yes, but set the timer for 30 minutes.” At the best of times, I get so wrapped up in my own projects that, combined with my complete lack of a natural inner clock, hours can go by before I realize the kids are still on the computer.

The girls use timers for keeping track of how long they’ve been practicing their band instruments (they have to do 100 minutes every week) and Cody uses a timer when he wants to read before bed so he doesn’t get so totally involved in the story that he doesn’t realize how late it is. He also has a required amount of reading to do every month, so he uses his timer to keep track of that as well.

When I want to do a quick clean-up, I set the timer for 10 or 15 minutes, do whatever I can in that amount of time, and call it good. Perhaps it’s my usually-dormant competitive streak, but there’s something about that race with the clock that inspires me to get far more done in the short amount of time I give myself than I would otherwise.

Other timer uses:

* When the kids get rowdy, set the timer for 2 minutes and tell them they have until it goes off to get it out of their systems.

* Use it for the kids to pick up whatever items are not where they belong in 5 minutes. OPTIONAL: Prizes/treats for the most stuff collected.

* When kids need a time-out in their rooms, use the timer to keep track. I’ve been known to forget that I even sent my kid to his/her room, until sometime later when I hear a cautious voice calling down the stairs, “Mom? Can I come out now?” That’s a surefire way to feel like a bad parent.

* Keep your own play time in check, whether it’s surfing the web, posting on Facebook or playing a video game. It’s amazing how fast time can get away from us when we’re having fun!

Do you have other uses for timers?

One Response to “Why I love timers”

  1. Diana says:

    I use my Flylady timer for just about everything….

    – Time outs
    – 5 minute clean-up time before bath
    – “You have this much time left to play”
    – “Since you asked me with a whining voice, I am going to set the timer and you can ask me again when it goes off”
    – Time in bed before lights go out
    – Timing computer/TV time
    – Timing my cleaning time – “Mommy is going to clean for 15 minutes and then play with you for 15 minutes”
    – 15 minute coffee time with my husband when he gets home (no interruptions allowed, at least theoretically)
    – Asking hubbie to help me with something for a specific time so he won’t get discouraged
    – As encouragement to me when I am tired and have a huge mess to clean up (i.e. 15 minutes kitchen, 5 minutes each room, then back to kitchen, etc.)

    Timers are awesome!

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