When To Use Alarms | Giftie Etcetera: When To Use Alarms

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

When To Use Alarms

As much as I love my planner, I use my cell phone alarm and other alarms constantly.

Alarms don't take the place of a planner. Times are still, first and foremost, written in my planner. But alarms do free my mind to work, undistracted by the clock, until I need to stop.

Useful ways to use alarms include:

*Wake Ups

I set my alarm for 6:15 a.m. M - F, not at all on Saturday, and for 7:15 a.m. for Mass on Sunday.

TIP: Use a cell phone alarm for the features, like different settings for different days, progressive alarms that get louder each time they ring (especially useful in the morning), and different types of sounds for different purposes.

*Unusual Appointments

If I need to do something unusual, like go to the dentist at 1:45 p.m., I set an alarm, in case I am not looking directly at my planner when it's time to leave for the appointment.

TIP: Set the alarm enough in advance to allow you adequate time to get to your appointment. 

This is where your planner is useful, as it will tell you where you will be when the alarm goes off. Obviously, if you are going to be in school, court, or church, a vibrating alarm might be better.

*Important Unusual Tasks

If I suddenly need to take an antibiotics every morning with breakfast, in addition to writing it on my planner and logging each dose directly on the pill container, I set an alarm. Taking the med is not part of my routine, but is important, and timing is important, so an alarm makes sense.

TIP: Don't use alarms for everything, including unimportant stuff, or you might start to ignore them.

*Developing Habits

When I first start doing something new, I might set a daily alarm until I get into the habit.

*Transitioning From Engrossing Task

I tend to get engrossed in work (I know, weird, right?), so I set an alarm for my end time (or fifteen minutes before end time, to warn me to finish up whatever I am doing). 

Now, while most alarms are on my cell phone, I generally work in the library, in an office, or in a coffee shop, with earbuds from my laptop to my ears. Therefore, instead of a phone alarm, I use Google alarms.

TIP: To set a Google alarm, type "timer 60 minutes" (or whatever length of time applies) in the Google search bar. Then just leave that window open. The timer will begin by itself. Do make sure your volume is turned on.

Here's what happened when I typed "timer 2 hours":

*Motivating Children

I use alarms all the time with my kids. They get to play "beat the alarm" and can earn extra minutes of using electronics with whatever minutes are leftover. For example, I might give them an hour to clean their rooms, but if they are done to my satisfaction in 23 minutes, they get 37 minutes of free electronics time.

Alarms are an important tool in the modern era and should not be overlooked. Teachers have been using them for decades to know when to change classes. They work!

So decide when you will set alarms and start doing so. You won't regret it.



Unknown said...

I use an alarm to remind me to take my meds. And a timer is often used on days when I'm having trouble focusing. I'll set it for 30 minutes and dive into whatever work I have (that I'm avoiding) and try to get a much done as I can in that time frame.
Which reminds me . . . I should probably go ahead and do that today. (Having a highly distractable day today)

Anna said...

I like the idea of setting a time to help you develop habits. I'll have to keep that in mind. :)