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Best Timer for GTD

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  • Best Timer for GTD

    Hello everybody!

    I've searched for software timer good for GTD and found one called 'GTD Timer' (http://gtd-timer.com).

    I works well and I am going to buy a license for it (free version does not run on Vista Business). What I especially like about it is ability to launch it in a second (Type Win+S key, then Alt + 2 for two minutes).

    But I want to know about alternatives.

    Which timer do you prefer for GTD?
    Last edited by GTDLover; 05-28-2009, 02:51 PM.

  • #2
    I've been using a Yahoo Widget called "Countdown Timer" version 2.0.3 by Laurent Cozic. It floats semi-transparently on my desktop wherever I leave it and doesn't take up much space.

    I have it set to default to 2 minutes so I just double click it and this is the awesome part... it counts down to zero then plays a sound.

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    • #3
      Hi CoffinDodger,

      Thank you for suggestion. I've checked that widget, looks interesting but it is not as convenient as GTD Timer is.
      I can start GTD Timer with one keystroke and set any time to countdown from a keyboard in a few seconds. It also can be transparent and displays time in System Tray. The most interesting feature is to start multiple timers with different profiles and all of them have their own font color in the Tray.

      I've bought the license of the GTD Timer to unlock all features but free version is good enough if you do not want to pay for a such software.

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      • #4
        Sounds good - will have to go on my someday maybe list (or my christmas list ) for now

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        • #5
          Originally posted by CoffinDodger View Post
          I've been using a Yahoo Widget called "Countdown Timer" version 2.0.3 by Laurent Cozic. It floats semi-transparently on my desktop wherever I leave it and doesn't take up much space.

          I have it set to default to 2 minutes so I just double click it and this is the awesome part... it counts down to zero then plays a sound.
          I'll second this - my favourite timer for use at home - and it's free!

          Unfortunately we're not allowed to install any software at work, so for work I use a program I've downloaded to my palm Tx called "The big clock"

          Ruth

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          • #6
            Just curious, but why do you need a 2-minute timer? I know about the 2-minute "rule" for putting something on next action vs just doing it, but why would you actually time it? If it takes longer than 2 minutes, isn't the task already done by the time you realize it?

            It seems it would take more time to worry about the timer than just doing the action? Or are you using it for some other reason?

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            • #7
              Excellent question. It comes down to realising just how little time 2 minutes actually is.

              I was taking forever for example to process my inbox. With some help from the forums and discussion with others, it became aparrent that email replies I actually thought would take less than 2 minutes when I started them were regularly taking 15 minutes or more. It's not typing speed either - I've been working with computers for years so that isn't an issue.

              This post has taken me way more than 2 minutes to write. But the thing that triggered me to look at the thread was processing my inbox this morning. I shouldn't technically have written this now!!!

              Using a timer sometimes when I'm processing helps me train myself to be a bit more disciplined in my processing routine. Only when I started doing this did I end up putting some email threads under an incubating folder and creating a next action to "COMPOSE: reply to thread xyz"

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              • #8
                Free Web Timer

                I use this one http://e.ggtimer.com/2min that I launch with a shortcut I created.
                I sometimes like to check my ability to estimate the duration of a task. That's why I use it.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by graphicdetails View Post
                  Just curious, but why do you need a 2-minute timer? I know about the 2-minute "rule" for putting something on next action vs just doing it, but why would you actually time it? If it takes longer than 2 minutes, isn't the task already done by the time you realize it?
                  I use a timer often because I am very bad at figuring out how long any given time unit is. I'll time myself for 2 minutes so that I don't look up an hour later when I've finished what I thought was a simple task. When the timer beeps I stop and add it to my action list. I also do 15 minute times for some tasks I hate to do, just to get me started. And I'll do bursts of boring work, usually in 30 minute segments. My trick is I do 30 minutes of boring stuff, 15 minutes of play or reading for fun, 5 minutes to go drink some water and go to the bathroom and back to 30 more minutes of the task I am avoiding.

                  I also use a count up timer to actually time tasks I am procrastinating on, usually housework. I say ok I'm going to really clean the stove top and hood screens and I'm going to time it to see how long it actually takes. I found that some tasks I was sure took an hour actually only take 15-20 minutes. I document the time on the task so I know that if I have a 20 minute stretch I can get it done rather than procrastinating because I hate to start something and not finish it.

                  I'm using a time up counter a lot right now as I try to come to grips with how long it actually takes me to process complex e-mails. I've got 11 in my inbox right now, and today my goal is to really process each one. Some have been there since 15 April! My initial estimate is that it will take 12-15 minutes per e-mail to actually process it, that is really make the decisions on what the next action is and whether I need to add it as a project. so I'm going to time it and see what it actually takes. I've got both the workflow diagram and the advanced workflow diagram printed out and will take each e-mail and go explicitly through each step of the process. I think I'll use the simpler workflow at first and see if I can clear the inbox that way. The timer will be to document how long it actually takes so I can see how much time I have to allocate to this task in future.

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