"What is it with all the clocks in this house?" complained my husband the other day. "None of them have the right time."
"Yeah . . . well," I said.
"You know, if you'd just leave them alone, we wouldn't be so confused all the time."
You see, I have this incredibly weird relationship with it. Basically, I think that time is a stupid human construct with no real purpose but to make us all miserable. So, I mess with its instruments whenever possible. In real terms, that means that all our clocks are off by minutes . . . or hours.
After 16 years, you'd think my dear hubby would be used to this, but it still drives him batty.
On the plus side, my children are both quite good at math. You'd have to be in our house; every clock is an equation waiting to be solved.
Given this strange quirk, you'd might assume I'd eschew timers. But I noticed a couple of weeks ago that my efforts to free myself from the confines of time were thwarted by the little, accurate, clock on my computer. It's a damn distraction.
What could help me focus more on the task at hand and less on the passage of minutes that meant I'd have to stop what I was writing to go pick up the kids or get dinner started?
When I was a child, my mother used one to get me to eat my meals faster. So, I had some emotional baggage there, too. Still, when I looked at the tool as a possible aid for my work, it made sense.
A cheapo deapo timer has made a tremendous difference in my focus and output. I'm able to let myself go in deeply to that creative place because I know that no matter how long or short the session, I won't lose myself so completely that I shirk my family responsibilities.
Who'd would've thought that something with a crappy display and an obnoxious alarm could be one of my best friends in my professional endeavors?
So there you have it. Nothing earth-shattering or profound about a timer, but it's really shaking up my way of working.
What about you?
If you could only have one new tool to help you work more efficiently — something small and inexpensive (I'm talking about less than $10) — what would it be?