Sometimes the problem is literally ‘getting started’ with, well, anything that you want to accomplish. It could be writing, it could be finding cheaper car insurance, ordering your shopping online – anything at all.

There are tons of techniques that you might consider if you often get stuck in the limbo of getting started. One that I have found really useful is a little cube shaped timer.

It looks like this:

It’s inexpensive (£17-£25 on Amazon in the UK), and, you can buy different ones (in different colours) with different timers on it. Essentially you turn the device so that the number of minutes that you want the timer to run for is on top. The timer then starts and counts down. You can pause the time by turning it to so that the LCD timer is top-most.

When the timer expires an alarm sounds, and lights flash. You can have either or both of those disabled, and, you can adjust the brightness and volume (so that it’s not too jarring if you’re in a place where it should be quiet). You can also pause the time cube

Take a look at the little video I made:

It’s really helpful to me when I get quite a long list of ‘stuff’ that needs doing. I just pick a ‘thing’ on the list, set the time for 5 or 15 minutes and DO IT.