One of the ways I squeeze a ton of work out of my day is to play a game with myself. I call it “Let’s See How Freakishly Fast Can I Accomplish This Task”. Seriously. I’m obsessed with timing myself doing things. I know, for example, that it takes me exactly 4 minutes to empty a full dishwasher. And 2 1/2 minutes to make my husband’s sandwich each day.
I use that weird quirk of my personality to push myself in my work, too. Like I’ll say “Ok, I’m setting the clock: how many checks can I enter in 30 minutes? Go!” And then I’ll work like a mad woman for that half hour and be so proud of my pile of completed work when I’m done.
That’s right, I try to turn my work into a series of games. Because I’m a 4-year-old.
Apparently, though, I’m not the only one. In fact, a whole app has been created to cater to weirdos like me.
It’s the 30/30 time management app and I love it. It’s super colorful, highly customizable, absolutely easy to work with and it keeps me moving through my day in short bursts of time. Bonus: it’s free!
Here’s how it works: you create a list of tasks (you can actually create several task lists and move in between them) and assign each task a set period of time in which you hope to accomplish that work. You hit “start” and the game is on. The app will tell you when you’ve reached your set time limit.
I find this especially useful for limiting the time I spend working in email. If I’m not careful, I can get sucked into the email vortex for hours at a a time, keeping me from more important, but less “urgent” work. The 30/30 app is a task manager that keeps me in line.
I’m also going to experiment with using the app with my toddler, to help him easily move with me from task to task on, say, a Saturday afternoon. He can have 20 minutes to watch “Super Why” and then, when the app alarm goes off, we’ll transition to working on folding clothes together for 15 minutes. He loves my iPhone, so I think this may just work.
I will admit to getting caught up in the “in-app store”, where you can buy extra icons for your tasks. I bought way too many. What can I say? I really like being able to choose a little “list” icon for my daily “Prepare tomorrow’s To Do List” task.
If you want to try it on your iOS device, you can find it here.
Let me know what you think.