Use timers to help with time management: 10 helpful uses for timers

Ask any parent and it’s likely that they will tell you they wish they had more time to get things done. Work, household responsibilities, and caring for children makes time a valuable commodity. Wasting time is a luxury that most families can not afford.

The ten ways for utilizing timers listed here can help keep everyone on track. Purchasing a special timer is probably not necessary. Newer microwaves have a timer feature. The microwave timer can be set independently of the “cook” feature. Cell phones and mobile devices usually come equipped with timers. is an online website that provides a timer that can be programmed to beep, alarm, chime, ring like a telephone, whistle, sound a horn, or buzz.

Timed Test Practice

Most children will have to take standardized tests in school. Many standardized tests are timed, or at least have a timed component. Practicing answering questions while being timed at home can help a child become comfortable with the concept of taking timed tests.

Instrument Practice Time

Even children that enjoy playing an instrument may need some nudging to get them to practice. Keeping track of practice time can be tedious. Setting a timer spares parents from having to stand over a child while they practice an instrument. When the timer goes off everyone knows practice time is done.

Computer/Social Networking Device Time

For most young children and teenagers there can never be too much time spent socializing and surfing the internet. Too much time spent online is a bad idea. Parents can opt to allow a specific amount of time on the computer and for social networking. A timer can help keep track of that time.

Television Time

In the 1980s television was given the nickname “the boob tube“. It was considered a time waster. While that may not necessarily be true, limiting TV viewing time is not a bad idea. A timer can be a reminder to everyone in the household to end TV viewing and start a different activity.

Time-Out Timer

Placing a child in time-out is not very effective if they don’t stay in time-out. No parent wants to hear a child’s whining voice constantly asking if time-out is over. This can be prevented by simply setting a timer and telling the child not to move until they hear it go off.

Nap Timer

A power nap during the day can be just what a person needs to re-energize. Catching some shut-eye on the couch could be disastrous if the nap goes on too long. Setting a timer before lying down ensures that a nap will not last too long.

Snack/Meal Time Reminder

Some diet plans recommend eating frequent snacks or meals throughout the day. It’s easy to get busy and forget about eating. Setting a timer as a reminder is a good way to stay on track with meals and snacks.

Medication Reminder

Doses of medicine are often prescribed to be taken every four to six hours. Dealing with illness is hard enough. Remembering to take medicine on time is easier when a timer is used as a reminder.

Countdown Clock

When preparing to leave the house, time can get away from you. Looking at the clock and realizing you should have been gone ten minutes ago has happened to even the most organized people. Using a timer as a countdown clock can alert a person when they are out of time and should be headed out the door.

Cooking (Of course!)

Using a timer for cooking is a no-brainer. But using a timer to remind the cook when it’s time to flip or turn something on the stove is an under utilized trick. The same timer can be used to determine how long a stove has been pre-heating, how long meat has been marinating, and more.

There is no way to grow an extra pair of eyes. Keeping track of what’s going on in every room of the house is impossible. A timer can become a cost-free monitoring system for school-aged children. It can also help adults not lose track of time.


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