Uses For A Timer!

I love my timer! It is one of my most versatile household tools. Here are the uses I’ve found for a timer:

Time-out: Rule of thumb is one minute per year old. I think if you’re a mom, that is how long of a nap you should get to take … one minute per year old for you too.

Tidy up: Make a goal to tidy up for 15 minutes with your kids each evening (while dinner bakes or before bedtime). Turn on some music, set a timer, and tidy up!

Travel help: For long road trips, we bring a timer. We set a goal with the children of 30 minutes to one hour (or less with younger children or shorter car rides) and then we have some treat. One of my favorite road trip sweet treats are smarties (we usually have the girls do a math problem or something to actually get the candy, so we tell them it is a smarties break). This really helps break up the time!

Homework & reading practice: To an extent, homework takes as long as it takes. There is some subjective timing, though, when asking kids to practice math tables and reading. Make a goal and set a timer. This helps it seem less overwhelming to everyone.

Music practice: One approach to music practice as children get older is to set an amount of practice time. Ask your piano teacher to help set a goal time that matches your child.

Laundry: When I put clothes in the washer or dryer, I set a timer for how long it will take and carry the timer around the house with me. This way I remember to change the wash over. How many times have I forgotten to change the washer over a whole day and into the night? Too many times, which is why I started using a timer!

Break up an overwhelming or annoying project: Have a project that is sitting out there, just waiting for you, and it has possibly been waiting for a long time? Start that project today for 10 minutes. Just start it. Then tomorrow, give it 30 minutes or an hour. You decide, but set a time you’re willing to commit and go for it. Often just starting will have magical powers to help propel you to succeed.

How do you use your timer?

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7 thoughts on “Uses For A Timer!

  1. I still love to use the timer too! since i’m a flaky soul, it helps me remember lots of things.
    When the kids were young, I would set the timer for 20 min. Their Saturday jobs had to take 20 min each. If they finished early (and passed check off) they would get a treat or to skip a job. (Of course I had always given them at least one more job than necessary so that they could do this without making ME do MORE jobs.)

  2. Love all of those ideas! I also use mine at bedtime. If they can get ready in 15 minutes, there is time for reading or cuddles or whatever. There is no dawdling when the timer is on.

  3. Okay, #1 had me laughing! I like naptime :). I never really thought about using a timer for everything else (like tidying or, like Michelle said, getting ready for bed). I think having the thought of a timer in the back of your mind keeps you motivated to continue… and I think it might work on young children, too. I often procrastinate on time-consuming projects because I think about how long the whole thing is going to take. I’m definitely going to have to try using the timer for that, too! Thanks for sharing this! I think I’m going to be sharing this on Twitter!


  4. The timer is great for getting started when housework is overwhelming. I was off of work last week and used it to make some progress. I am taking Friday off this week and Monday next week, so I’ll have a 4 day weekend. I plan to use my timer again on the first 3 days. My newest grandson is coming on Monday, so I’ll have to see if I can get anything done on Monday or not. I should be able to do something at some point in the day. Thanks for the tips. As a grandmother raising one of my grandsons, I am for the nap time with a minute for each year of my age. I might just round up and take an hour, though. LOL.

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