Pacers are tools that help you keep track of your progress and nudge you to keep moving forward.

Unlike checkpoints, which help you re-evaluate your progress, pacers help you keep track of the speed at which you are working, to motivate you to work at a faster pace—or at least at your desired pace.

For example, to become aware of time passing while working, set a timer to go off every 15 minutes.

This divides a longer task into shorter intervals and briefly brings your awareness back to how time is passing each time the timer goes off. This awareness can then be used as motivation to work faster, to be less of a perfectionist, or to be more realistic with what you can accomplish.

Pacers aren’t for everyone though.

The stress of a clock ticking down or a timer going off repeatedly can cause procrastination, distraction and mental blocks.

Use pacers if you find yourself being too much of a perfectionist, going down rabbit holes, or working at a slower pace than you’d like.

If you choose to experiment with timers as pacers, use a gentle tone that increases volume gradually. If using your phone timer, search for tones like chimes, bird calls or ocean waves in your tone store.

Use pacers along with other techniques like taking breaks or checkpoints. The Pomodoro Method acts as a pacer by dividing your work into short 25-minute sprints with a 5-minute break in between each.