Yes, that is an egg-shaped timer sitting on my journal. I’ve never used it to time eggs. Instead, it comes in handy when I need a little motivation. I use it to hatch ideas. Those crazy ideas that need the artificial urgency of a time constraint to keep them from dawdling around in my head.
When I need to rustle my thoughts, I use a method called the “quick write.” I learned this technique from Lynn D. Morrissey in the Journal to the Self workshop that she offered locally a few years back. Lynn is a dear friend and journal keeper extraordinaire. I linked her name to her superb book about using your journal to write prayers to God, as a devotional expression. I highly recommend her book, as Lynn weaves vulnerable personal narrative into practical glimpses of her journal keeping practice. The second link is to the book from which the workshop was developed by Kathleen Adams. (If you’re interested in keeping a journal for self-development, here’s a link from Kathleen’s website with tips to get started.)
So back to the technique, set your timer for five minutes, and then just start writing whatever comes to mind. It does help to have a topic or a prompt to get you started. One of my favorite prompts to get the words flowing, which I learned from Lisa Sonora, is to start with the phrase:
So go set your timer for five minutes, and respond to the prompt, Right now . . .
Then read what you wrote down. Did anything surface that surprised you? How did writing for five minutes feel? Would you consider adding this practice to your regular routine? Why or why not?
These crazy ideas of mine! I hope you’re having fun with them.
What are some other ways you use a timer?
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens . . .
(Ecclesiastes 3:1 NIV)