Though some people continue to cling to their delusions, it’s by now common knowledge that
Expending a lot of effort isn’t always the same as working hard, and even with the best will in the world, working hard doesn’t always bring you closer to your goals. Luckily, smart people who’ve recognized this fact have come up with a number of psychological tricks to boost productivity even when our own minds and habits work against us.
Many of these revolve around manipulating the way we perceive time. Holding meetings standing up, for instance, does wonders at getting people to focus on the agenda instead of the donuts. Planning the entire workday in half-hour segments, each with a defined goal, makes your priorities explicit and prevents you from wasting time on the unimportant. And measuring time by counting down instead of up, strange as it seems, is fantastic at improving your drive and concentration.
If you don’t believe this, try counting down from your target instead of up from zero when doing pushups or some other exercise. For no physical reason at all, it seems easier, as is meeting a deadline when you can literally see the seconds tick away.
This is exactly what this clock lets you do. Instead of showing abstract numerals clicking over, it displays an interval of up to 60 minutes as a shrinking red segment on a traditional clockface, giving everyone in the room quick visual feedback on how much time remains for some task.
At either 8 or 12 inches (20 or 30 cm) high, it’s visible even at a distance. While it won’t raise people’s blood pressure with an annoying ticking noise, you can choose to let a buzzer sound when time runs out.
Once you know this kind of thing exists, you’ll wonder how you ever got by without one in meetings, the classroom or even pub quiz nights. Even simple routines like getting ready in the morning and cooking dinner become a lot more efficient when you have a visual deadline to work against.
There is one major caveat with this specific product, though: it’s about as rugged as a newborn duckling. If buying one of these Time Timers for a child, you’ll be better off setting it yourself rather than letting their clumsy fingers near it.