Many people swear by the Pomodoro Technique, a strategy for sprinting through tasks to get more done, while allowing for brain-resting breaks. You don't need a Pomodoro timer to apply this -- just use regular, limited-time "real life" events for your timer.
Photo by nedrichards
Belle Beth Cooper suggests several real life Pomodoros. Start the task and then get cranking on your work until that other task is done. For example, start the washing machine or dryer and when the final beep goes off, take your break.
Similarly, you can play an album or playlist and use that as your timer (something that could help you blast through chores as well as work). Computer updated and commuting time are also options. Head to Belle's post for even more ideas.
Real life Pomodoro [Exist]