Over the course of our lives, we have been conditioned to change our behavior when a countdown is introduced. Sports, game shows, rocket launches, video games and sales promotions often use a countdown to mark the end or beginning of something important. The countdown pushes people to act, or as Amazon tells us, if we order in less than 1 hour and 28 minutes, we can receive the item tomorrow by 10:00 AM.
Countdowns are more than a sales tactic. They can be used strategically to make us more productive, particularly when we start or end a project or task. Setting an appropriate but challenging countdown as we near the completion of a writing project, a workout, or meeting creates urgency and encourages us to avoid interruptions and distractions until the countdown is over.
Countdowns to signal the beginning of tasks can help us to overcome procrastination or lethargy. Whether you prefer digital or analog countdowns, like sand timers, consider incorporating them to enhance your focus. Time is running out!
Set a countdown to employ your first countdown.