by Tina Manzer
Time Timer’s Heather Rogers explains how a simple display that shows the passing of time can increase confidence, improve productivity, reduce stress and decrease screen time.
The original Time Timer visual timer was introduced nearly 30 years ago. What made its design so revolutionary?
Timers, like the one on your microwave or a clock on the wall, can count down the minutes but don’t offer an idea of what elapsed time looks like. The need to show how much time has passed and how much time is still available were the reasons our company founder Jan Rogers developed the original Time Timer visual timer. It made the abstract concept tangible and identifiable.
Why does it “count down” time the way it does?
Its function is about visually indicating time disappearing. The numbers are placed counterclockwise to accommodate the countdown. The disk moves to highlight the numbers and show exactly how much time is left. As time elapses, that disk gets smaller and smaller until it disappears.
Why have Time Timer products been so successful in the school market?
Teachers use Time Timer products throughout the day to keep their schedules on track and give their classrooms structure and order. Students love using visual timers because they provide a clear starting and ending point. They can see how much time they have for individual activities.
A side benefit to the original Time Timer 60-minute visual timer is that it helps young kids better understand how minutes work on an analog clock.
Your company is committed to creating products for people who have learning disabilities. How do Time Timer products help them?
Research indicates that Time Timer products are especially effective in teaching time awareness for children diagnosed with autism, dyslexia, Down Syndrome, ADD/ADHD and many other learning disabilities. In a real and direct way, our products help reduce anxiety, build confidence, strengthen focus and instill calm in daily life by helping children see and understand “when” and “how much longer.”
Because our products are easy to operate, they empower individuals with learning disabilities to work independently with greater responsibility and claim a greater sense of ownership of their time.
Time Timer products are also designed to be a universal resource. They may be incorporated into a classroom for the benefit of one or two students in particular who have a disability, but every student in the room will have access to the same time management support. In that way, Time Timer products are an excellent resource to use to help create an inclusive environment.
What are some of the most effective ways Time Timer products are used?
Teachers tell us our visual timers help their class get a good start to the day. After students arrive and the bell rings, they set the timer for five minutes. Teachers take attendance, the students settle in, and by the time the red disk disappears, everyone is ready to get started.
Teachers also say it’s important for reading time. Because Time Timer products are visual, verbal cues are not needed. Thus, students can fully immerse themselves in their reading without interruptions or distractions.
Students say they use our visual timers to balance their academic commitments and extracurricular activities. A Time Timer visual timer also helps them concentrate while studying because it helps them allocate time for both study sessions and breaks.
In the corporate world, Time Timer products have been shown to help meetings remain productive and stress-free. When meeting attendees can see how much time is remaining, they are more likely to stay engaged and contribute to the discussion.
Additionally, adults report that Time Timer visual timers have helped them cut down on their screen time, as our timer shows them how much time they’ve spent on Tik Tok or YouTube.
What are the top three benefits of visual timers?
First would be enhanced time perception. The visual representation creates an urgency that helps individuals grasp the passage of time more accurately. Time Timer visual timers are particularly useful for tackling large tasks because they prevent individuals from under- or over-estimating time.
Second, Time Timer products help reduce procrastination. The tangible and ever-diminishing visual element encourages people to use time wisely. The fear of wasted time diminishes as individuals see the progress they make.
Finally, our timers help with focus and concentration by serving as a constant reminder to stay on track.
How has Time Timer evolved over the years? How many different versions of your visual timer are there now?
Time Timer started with one single product – the Time Timer Original 8-inch. Today we offer more than 30 different models and accessories. Models range from a small, personal-sized Time Timer 3-inch to the Time Timer Watch for people on the go and all the way up to the Time Timer MAX that has eight different time durations for large groups and spaces. There is something for everyone!
How often do you launch new products? What’s your most recent introduction?
New models or “new and improved” models with additional features and other enhancements are launched every year. The most recent launch was the Time Timer Learning Center Classroom Set. This is a set of three Time Timer 8-inch timers that come in either primary colors or secondary colors.
What are your bestsellers?
It depends! Time Timer products are sold all over the world … different cultures and regions have different preferences when it comes to which model is preferred. Here in the USA, the Time Timer Original line (the 3-, 8- and 12-inch models) do the best in the classroom. It is a tried and true, trusted resource for educators.
Do you have any tips for retailers, dealers and catalog companies for selling your product?
Please take advantage of all the marketing materials we provide. We regularly update product images, lifestyle images, product videos, content for blogs and social media, product descriptions tailored to specific audiences and more.
In addition, we encourage all retailers, dealers and catalogs to consider how they merchandise our products. Time Timer products can fit into many categories, from early childhood and middle and high school to SEL and teacher resources, and more.
For brick-and-mortar retailers, putting a model out on display encourages shoppers to pick it up and experience setting the Time Timer. If the display model is near the cash register, then the clerk can easily talk with the customer and answer any questions they have about Time Timer.
Retailers, dealers and catalog companies can feel good about the quality of Time Timer. We stand behind our products; if there ever is an issue, we will do everything we can to make it right. We have a great customer service team and sales team who love to take care of our customers. We want to be your resource and make it easy to do business with us.