It's been a couple of weeks now since I brushed the dust off my Swiss Army Egg Timer (not nearly as iconic as their penknife) and began to use it regularly. First and foremost, I use it to limit my on-line time. I can't say I've been particularly disciplined - I have a habit of setting it for 15 minutes, then when the time runs out, setting it for another 15 minutes - but the theory is sound, and I'm more aware about how much time I can spend on-line.
As well as using it to limit on-line time, and time spent on domestic chores, I've been using the egg timer for writing. I've been having concentrated bursts of just writing anything down connected with the book, such as ten minutes on what the main character is wearing right now or what her bedroom looks like. I may never use the information, but writing it down is triggering other ideas and thoughts, and I'm sure it will add to the depth of my descriptions. And hey, it's only ten minutes.
I've also been using the timer for my main writing. I find I have random pockets of time, perhaps half an hour before I have to go out. Before my egg timer I would faff around, perhaps doing something domestic or grabbing a cup of tea, or randomly looking at stuff on line. With my egg timer I now sit down and write, knowing that I'm against the clock. It's surprising how much you can get done in half an hour, and how those half hours add up.
It's the great cliche - I'd write a novel if I only had the time. Well, most of us do have the time if we limit all the other stuff. And I'm find my trusty Swiss Army Egg Timer a useful tool to help me do just that.