Can you recommend a 2 minute sand timer?

Discussion in 'PUBLIC: Discuss Tools & Software for GTD' started by Ship69, Mar 21, 2019.

  1. Ship69

    Ship69 Registered

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    Hello

    I am trying to find a really nice 2 minute timer that uses sand. Any suggestions?

    Background
    I want something to keep on my desk to make sure that "my less than 2 minute" really do take less than 2 minutes! And given that I am going to use it A LOT, I wanted something that is really well made one. Possibly something with a brushed stainless steel frame to it. Fwiw, I am based in the UK. I like the idea of having a timer that I can set off in less than a second, simply by up-ending it. And that runs silently. And that shows how far I have got so far. No need to bleep loudly at the finish.

    Cheers

    J
     
  2. TesTeq

    TesTeq Registered

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    And what will you do with the task when the timer times out?
     
  3. ERJ1

    ERJ1 Jedi Master

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    This is a great question! I feel like establishing this limit would just stress you out.

    Shoot, I've dabbled in using the pomodoro method on and off and I find sometimes it just disrupts me getting into a flow state. I think setting artificial time limits on ourselves just ends up causing stress!

    I think that the 2 minute rule is just a rule of thumb as to whether or not it is worth just doing something or taking the time to log it in your system. I log 2 minute tasks sometimes just because it will help get it off my mind or process the exact action. Sometimes my 2 minute rule is longer, just because it's easier for me to just take care of something instead of logging it.
     
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  4. Gardener

    Gardener Registered

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    I like the idea. If I were using it, I'd use it to learn what tasks really are two minutes, so that I know for next time. I'd finish the current task, but I would have learned about the nature of that kind of task.
     
  5. Ship69

    Ship69 Registered

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    In part I like the idea of a timer so that I can catch myself going down rabbit hole(s), having set about just doing a single "2 minute" task.
     
  6. Gardener

    Gardener Registered

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    Amazon seems to have many, many hourglasses, but the really short-time ones (1 minute, 2, 3) seem to be mostly sturdy plastic things, I think intended for the classroom.
     
  7. John Ismyname

    John Ismyname Registered

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    Before you buy a fancy timer, go to a dollar store and buy a cheap digital kitchen timer - I pay $1 each for mine. I do my own adaptation of Pomedoro so I have three such timers taped to a piece of cardboard (and a beverage coaster taped on that to boot. I should patent that :) ) For the two-minute rule (and the Pomedoro), I experimented to find the optimal time duration. While I agree with David Allen on his concept of this rule and the value that it brings, 2 minutes is not the optimal time for me. Thus, if you buy a fancy hourglass timer, it might become obsolete if you decide you want to alter the 2-minute duration.
     
  8. Ship69

    Ship69 Registered

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    I wanted something more sturdy, rather than some cheap plastic thing.
     
  9. Ship69

    Ship69 Registered

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    Can you say more about your 3 timers taped together?
    e.g. Why do you have so many? How do you use them? Why are they taped together? How long is each timer for?

    Out of interest if not 2 minutes, how many minutes works best for you?
     
  10. Oogiem

    Oogiem Registered

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    I can find 3 minutes ones

    https://www.wayfair.com/kitchen-tabletop/pdp/natico-executive-sand-timer-ygd1212.html

    and a 3, 4 and 5 minute one all at once which actually IMO looks really cool. That way you'd know how long things took, < 3 minutes ro longer based on how many have run out.

    https://www.wayfair.com/kitchen-tab...leu-stainless-steel-3-in-1-timer-bia1251.html

    I didn't look far but here's a whole store with nothing but hourglasses :D

    https://www.justhourglasses.com
     
  11. Lecter

    Lecter GTD Ninja

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    Just a quick comment: I bought a nice hourglass to use with Pomodoro. The issue was that it was silent. I didn't hear it go off like a digital timer does. This led me to regularly glancing at the hourglass, which felt distracting.

    I now stick to the timer in my iPhone. Works like a charm.
     
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  12. John Ismyname

    John Ismyname Registered

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    There is really nothing to say, I cut a piece of cardboard and scotch taped these three dollar store timers to them.
    https://www.dollartree.com/cooking-concepts-digital-electronic-kitchen-timers/197026
    these ones are so small and light that it's easy to do.

    I did by a cool timer that has three timers in one but it is too complicated to use.
    The Pomadoro method is basically to work for a timed 25 minutes, break for a timed 5 minutes, repeat this cycle something like 4 times and then have a longer break. When you work, you do predefined tasks in a a singular focused fashion.
    The first two timers are for my Pomadoro-type cycle of work and breaks. The this is for the 2-minute rule. As my work period timer is counting down, I invoke the secondary timer.
    so they don't get mixed up or moved around (which slowed and frustrated me)The cardboard is big enough to sit under a computer monitor peditsal. The exposed cardboard and the timers is so small that it doesn't take up much desk 'real-estate'.
    If you want to try this start with the Pomadoro 25 minute work 5 minute break and see how that works. I'm convinced everyone has there own optimal cycle length for this.
    2.5 minutes - 150 seconds. If I fail to get it done in this amount of time, I simply push the timer start button again. If the timer buzzer rings again, it means I have not completed a task in 5 minutes that I thought would take less than 2 minutes and I should have been a better estimator and I should not have been handled as a 2-minute task. I also have to admit that I just spent 1/5 of my Pomadoro work time on an unrelated task and have to question if I should abandon this Pomadoro to work on this supposedly 2-minute task or do the 2 minute now or schedule the 5 plus minute task later.

    Most people do not have the ability to estimate how long it will take to do a task. If you have an alarm going off for your 2-minuters and your Pomadoro cycles, you will get much better at estimate how long your work will take and you will get more done![/QUOTE]
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2019
  13. John Ismyname

    John Ismyname Registered

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    Lecter is right. I tried silent as well but had the same problem. It was more distracting to look at the timer than wait for its buzz.
     
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  14. ERJ1

    ERJ1 Jedi Master

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    I've heard the pomodoro method is best with an actual kitchen egg timer - there's supposedly value in the tactile manipulation, ticking, and loud ring!
     
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  15. John Ismyname

    John Ismyname Registered

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    Some Pomadorians claim that the act of turning the dial on their mechanical timers is akin to establishing a contract with themselves. It is easier to push the button on a digital timer than set a mechnical timer to however many minutes you want your work and your break.
    Likewise, some Pomadorians say the ticking of the timers is beneficial. My experience is that this ticking just becomes background noise.

    The hardest thing about Pomadoro is that when you work, you just work single-mindely on one thing and when you take a break you really do take a break!
     
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  16. Ship69

    Ship69 Registered

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    Fwiw, I have a Salter which is good because it has 4 separate timers. And each one has its own memory. So you can in principle use T1 for 2 minutes, T2 for 20 minutes, T3 for 30 minutes and T4 for say 50 minutes.

    Mine is the slightly older mode that (from behind) is shaped like a "D".

    The big problem is that it will very VERY easily forget the previous timing. In fact it will ONLY remember the previous duration if you wait until the end of the timing and once it starts to bleep you hit the Stop/Start/Memory button twice. Otherwise it always seems to forget the duration.

    Also it's not good at travelling in my briefcase. There does not seem to be any way to stop it from bleeping when ever the buttons are pressed, even if it is in Clock not Timer mode.
     
  17. bcmyers2112

    bcmyers2112 Registered

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    I've used a timer for this purpose, so I can vouch for its usefulness. It's a good way to teach yourself to avoid time sinks.

    But I use a digital timer app on my iPhone called "Due". So I'm afraid I can't be of any help recommending sand timers.
     

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