Ding! How A Kitchen Timer Changed My Life

Kitchen Timer

If there’s one gadget I would never part with, it’s my kitchen timer – not because I ever actually use it for baking! Rather, I use my kitchen timer to improve my health and well-being in a multitude of different ways. What’s more, unlike the alarm on my mobile phone or wrist watch, the kitchen timer doesn’t require any complicated setting to make it work; with just the twist of a dial, I’m on my way to improving my life. Here’s how I do it.

Delaying gratification

Studies show the most successful people are those who don’t feel their desires (whatever they may be) have to be satisfied immediately. They’re the kind of individuals who can wait out the small things in life in order to achieve greater long-term goals. Sometimes, waiting doesn’t have to be for very long to be effective. For example, it takes twenty minutes after eating for our brains to realise we’re feeling full. When I want to shed a kilo or two, I always dial twenty minutes on the kitchen timer after finishing a meal. When the bell rings, I can eat again if I want to – but I never do, because after twenty minutes, I always feel full. If I ever feel my social media activity is becoming addictive, I use my timer to delay checking notifications. If I find I’m thinking about a glass of wine each night at 6pm, I turn the dial to 15 minutes, and after that time, ask myself “Do I really need that drink?” Often, the answer is “No!”

Taking time out

Most of us never spend enough time promoting our own mental health. Perhaps that’s because we’re so often rewarded for being active and energetic, while taking time out for ourselves is seen by many as being self-indulgent or lazy. But taking time out can help us feel calm and in control, and actually enable us to function more effectively and efficiently. To focus on my mental health, I go to the breathing exercise on the Kiwi website Small Steps. Then, I set my kitchen timer for 5 minutes, and carry out the exercise until the bell rings. The timer really helps me stay focused on the simple exercises I’m doing.

Farewell to procrastination

Most of the time, the reason we put off doing something that needs to be done, is we feel the task is too overwhelming, but when it’s broken down into small sections, it suddenly feels doable. This is where the kitchen timer comes in. I use it for 5-minute-a-day-gardening stints, 10-minute-decluttering sessions’, and 15-minute window-cleans. When the timer is my boss, and not my slave-driver mind, I find the job gets done – and with a fraction of the stress!

Ship shape in minutes

From taking time to count your blessings, to increasing your balance by standing on one leg, the UK’s Dr Michael Mosely has some great research-based advice on how to improve our physical and mental health. The veteran podcaster is also adept at making the effort involved sound – well – effortless! That’s because he encourages us to spend just a few minutes each day on his recommended activities. Whether you’re following the good doctor’s advice, or setting your own daily routines, the kitchen timer is your helping hand. Following the advice of the American Dental Association, I set my timer to two minutes when cleaning my teeth. If I don’t, I find I clean them for less than a minute. I also set the timer when I run on the spot, and skip.

Using a kitchen timer in your life is fun and productive – try it for yourself!