Over the years I’ve learned that I have only two modes of operation: ‘Full Throttle’ or ‘Total Slacker Slob’. For a variety of reasons, a main one being the glorious hot summer weather we’re having in Munich, I find myself in a constant state of ‘Total Slacker Slob’. I can’t get myself to do ANYTHING. It’s a problem.

Luckily, I have my kitchen timer. You may have heard of the Pomodoro technique or time boxing work. I use my kitchen timer to do something similar, but rather than break my work down into 90 or 25 minute chunks, I’m starting with 5 minutes. 5 minutes! That’s how bad it is.

The secret to this is technique is that once I do something, just get started even if it’s for only five minutes, it breaks the slacker spell. Usually I work up to 15 or 20 minutes because I get involved in what I’m working on and then get motivated to finish.

My timer is old, the display is messed up because it got wet, it used to have magnets on the back that broke off. It doesn’t matter though, that’s the beauty of this trick; all you need is a timer (the one on your smart phone will suffice) and a little bit of will.