The Hourglass Method

The iPhone alarm may be the worst noise ever created. The alarm is always louder, more annoying, and harder to turn off than I expect. But I’ve found something that may finally replace it, an item that has brought some joy to my timekeeping: hourglasses.

Most activities that I use timers for have a time limit, but not a time maximum. I use timers to make sure I meditate for 10 minutes, read for 15 minutes, or write for 30 minutes. I don’t care if I do it longer, just that the minimum time is reached. Hourglasses (which come in different time increments) are perfect because they only tell me when I’m done. No sand left, no problem. I can always keep going if I want, just like I do when I play Taboo. There’s something satisfying about turning over a 15-minute hourglass, reading, noticing the sand run out, and getting back to my book without being interrupted. While phone timers and computer clocks distract and break my concentration, going tech-free feels wonderful.

So try the hourglass method. Get glasses with small time increments as you try to build habits, so you can always go longer. And most importantly, please change that iPhone alarm sound.

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