Are you tired of constantly battling distractions and procrastination while trying to work on your creative projects? We’ve all been there, and it can be frustrating. However, we have a game-changing productivity method that is bound to transform the way you work. Inspired by actress Lauren Graham’s book, Talking as Fast as I Can, we bring you the Kitchen Timer Method—a simple yet highly effective technique to help you stay focused, motivated, and consistently productive.
Setting Achievable Goals:
The Kitchen Timer Method revolves around the principle that every writer or creator deserves a way to feel successful every day. It’s about judging yourself based on your behavior rather than the output or content you produce. Start by deciding how much time you want to dedicate to your project each day. Remember, it’s better to choose fewer hours that you can realistically achieve rather than overwhelming yourself. You can always increase the time as you progress. Set a reminder on your phone or mark it on your calendar to ensure you commit to this scheduled time for yourself.
One of the critical aspects of the Kitchen Timer Method is creating an environment that maximizes your productivity. Turn off your phone or put it on silent mode, freeing yourself from constant notifications and interruptions. While some experts suggest going as far as putting your phone in the freezer, we recommend keeping it out of sight or at a distance where you won’t be tempted to reach for it. Studies show that the mere presence of a smartphone can be distracting, so it’s crucial to create boundaries and communicate the importance of uninterrupted work time to your loved ones.
Additionally, minimize distractions from the internet by either turning off the Wi-Fi on your computer or using website blockers to stay away from time-consuming browsing. Although the internet may be necessary for certain projects, make a conscious decision about whether it will truly benefit your work at that moment.
Creating a Controlled Play Area:
When it’s time to work, set a timer for the desired duration you selected. This timer can be an actual kitchen timer or a timer app on your phone—anything that signals the passage of time audibly. Prepare two documents on your computer: your current project and a journal. If you don’t have an ongoing project, use the journal for free play. The idea is to engage in a low-pressure activity, such as doodling, sketching, or writing whatever comes to mind. This activity serves as a breather from your primary project and helps combat boredom or fatigue.
Utilizing Boredom Effectively:
During your dedicated work hour, allow yourself to switch between your primary project and the journal. If you’re feeling stuck or uninspired, spend some time in your journal, letting your thoughts flow freely. The key is to use your boredom as an opportunity to recharge rather than completely stepping away from your work. Once you’re ready to dive back into your project, switch gears and focus on it until you need another break.
Embracing Progress and Self-Care:
Remember, even if you don’t make significant progress on your project during the hour, you have succeeded by keeping your writing appointment. The Kitchen Timer Method promotes positive reinforcement and breaks the cycle of self-shaming for not meeting unrealistic expectations. By setting achievable goals and celebrating your commitment to regular work sessions, you cultivate a positive relationship with your creative projects. This mindset encourages you to set and achieve more appointments, steadily progressing toward your goals.
The Kitchen Timer Method is a powerful technique that can revolutionize your productivity and help you overcome distractions and procrastination. By setting achievable goals, eliminating distractions, and embracing controlled breaks, you create a structured framework for success.