I heard a great interview with Jim Woods over on the Rap With Nic podcast several weeks ago. In addition to some great productivity ideas I was reminded of the power of the timer. I use them from time to, but not as much as would benefit me. I tried out his suggestion and it saved me a bunch of wasted time.
Jim described how he sets a timer when he goes onto social media. The other day I was trying to be more disciplined with my time and so when I opened my personal email to take a break I hit start on the timer that was set for 5 minutes. Before long I was lost in a worm hole of links and queries and then suddenly the timer rang. Without them who knows how long I would have gone.
I picked up these timers at the Dollar store. Sometimes I use them for the Pomodoro technique, but more often than not I work in random blocks of time and use them to force me to focus. They are always sitting right in front of me.