Check Your Efficiency at Work with Chess Clocks

Are you productive? Could you be more productive? Are you a good employee or do you spend too much time during the smoking break or the break to go downstairs and down the road a bit to that coffee shop that has the really nice mocha drink? This article will help you improve your efficiency and productivity at work.



  1. Obtain the required speed-chess clock. You may have a spare one in a chess set that a friend gave you, or perhaps one that you bought for yourself sometime in the past but no longer require the chess clock at home. If not, you might come across one in a toy store or online. Perhaps you will have to ask the friendly members of a local chess club for some assistance, as they'll be more than happy to help you get a chess clock.
  2. Take the speed-chess clock to work and place it somewhere you will be able to observe it throughout the working day. One good example location would be to put the chess clock near your computer monitor within your line of sight. This way you can easily glance at to see the duration of wasted time compared to the duration spent working efficiency.
  3. Wind each clock up (if it is a mechanical clock that is not powered by the chemical battery, but instead by some sort of mechanical store of energy such as a coiled spring) so you know it will not slow down and give an inaccurate measurement of time, which in turn would skew your results.
  4. The speed chess clock has two clock faces. One for player one, 1 for player 2. Use one of the clock (we shall call it the "working hard time") to record the time in which you are working (your "productivity clock"). The other clock (we shall call it the "break time / not productive time clock") is going to be activated when you're not working, such as when you require to go to pay for some one to make you a fresh coffee, ring loved ones, use the bathroom and other examples. A good idea is to make labels for (or write with a marker on) each clock face to identify which clock face corresponds to your productive or your idle time.

During the Work Day

  1. Get to work quickly and press the button on top of the productivity clock so that it starts counting time on the idle clock. This is because you first arrive at work and do things like say hello to people and organise your desk from when the cleaners came through and messed everything up. This isn't productive.
  2. Press the button on top of the idle clock so it starts the counter on the productivity clock.
  3. Keep it that way until you think you've stopped being productive. You will know when this is.
  4. At the end of the day you will have a precise measurement of both productive and idle time at work. Note this in a log. You can even work out the percentage of time wasted.
  5. You should remember to reset the clock for the next day upon deciding to begin the journey from Work to your Home.


  • Over time you will build up statistics of how you spend your days at work. You can use these to determine your most productive and least productive days, as well as identifying trends. These trends you have identified - you may be able to map them to certain times of the year or perhaps events, such as Christmas and birthdays.
  • You can use these trends to help you identify those times in which you are more distracted than usual. Acknowledging this and working hard to concentrate during these periods will make you a better employee. Your boss will admire your increased productivity!


  • Some chess clocks make ticking sounds. This ticking is designed to create an atmosphere of tension when playing chess and adds to the excitement of playing chess. However, the ticking won't add to the excitement at the workplace; it will create tension by being an annoyance to others around you. Please be considerate and get a silent chess clock.

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