How Timers Can Help You Organize

My colleague, Ellen Delap, incoming president of the National Association of Professional Organizers is a guest blogger for this post.  Thank you Ellen!

My Organizing Obsession: Timers

It may not surprise you about my obsession with timers.  A timer is a vital tool for time management. It’s a monitoring device as well as an accountability tool.  There are so many uses for a picket timer.  A slim, digital, easy to set timer can help you in a myriad of ways. Timers come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Keep it simple with an easy to use timer that fits in a pocket.

At home

  •      Reminder to check the washer or dryer.  You may be in another part of the house and need an auditory reminder to move your clothes to the next step.
  •     Reminder to turn off the the sprinkler.  You’re inside and the sprinkler is outside.  A timer helps you water the whole lawn.
  •     Reminder to get ready for bed. You may need a reminder so you are in bed on time.
  •     Set your timer for 10 minutes of daily distribution of items to put away with your family. Together you pick up the house and everything is back in order.
  •     Set your timer for 10 minutes of paper management. Everyone can do 10 minutes of paper sorting.

At work

  •     Reminder to make a phone call at a certain time. You won’t want to miss an important call to a client.
  •     Count down to a meeting. You get busy and distracted and need a reminder of when to stop to in order to be on time for a meeting.
  •    Use the “Pomodoro method” which is working in 20 – 45-minute increments. You work for a specific amount of time on an important project and take a 5-minute break.  Do this for 3 sessions and see how much you have accomplished.
  •     Stay focused for your power hour.
  •     A timer gives you boundaries to start and finish a task. These boundaries are just like a physical boundary to help you stay on task.

For your student

  •     Reminder to start homework.  Once your student is at home, set a timer to count down until homework time starts.
  •     Beat the clock to finish homework.  Does homework drag on?  Help your student focus and work hard with a set time to finish.  A timer can also help your student break big homework assignments into manageable pieces.
  •     Reminder to pick up and place the backpack by the landing strip.  Get everything ready for the next day with a timer.  Just 5 minutes and everything is ready to go.

  What uses have you found for a timer?

About Ellen and

Ellen Delap

For over 15 years, Certified Professional Organizer and Certified Family Manager Coach Ellen Delap has helped her clients make time and space for what’s important to them by organizing their homes, offices and their daily living.  Ellen, owner of, works one on one with her clients in their home and offices streamlining their environment, creating effective strategies for an organized lifestyle and prioritizing organization in their daily routine.  She holds ADD and Chronic Disorganization certificates and specializes in working with ADD and ADHD families, adults and students.  Learn more about her and her business at