If you don't use a kitchen timer in your daily life, you're missing out. It's the way I break unpleasant tasks into chunks so I can tackle them without feeling overwhelmed. It's the way I keep myself from disappearing into a book or a magazine, by giving myself only a certain amount of time to read. It's the way I get myself out the door to a party and limit the amount of time I spend getting ready and second-guessing my outfit. It's a handy gadget.
This one is very good. (I actually have a different version, that I can't find online, but from what I'm reading they share the important features.) guess a timer is a timer, but there's something about the way this one is designed that makes me use it much more than I used the others I used to have. You twist the dial to the right to increase your allocated chunk of time, to the left to reduce it. You can change the setting so it's a little desk clock if you want to. You can prop it up on your desk or stick it on the stove or the fridge as a magnet. If you can't get to it right away the alarm goes off by itself after a minute or so, but then it counts up so you know how long it's been since your time ran out. I have three: one in my office, one in the kitchen, and one that moves around the house with me.