I sometimes use the Pomodoro Technique when I’m having trouble getting started or focusing on something that I need to get done. I also use it when I’m focusing too much on one thing and not taking breaks as often as I should. I don’t have one of the cute little tomato timers – the original pomodoro. When I’m working in my home office I use a digital kitchen timer. It has a fairly loud alarm.
In my current job I work in a cubicle at the corporate office more than at home. Since I didn’t think my coworkers would appreciate the noise of a kitchen timer, I was using a reminder in Outlook. That just didn’t work as well. It occurred to me that perhaps there are kitchen timers for deaf people that flash a light instead of making noise. A search on Amazon turned up one that looked worth trying.
I have been using this "General Tools & Instruments Timer for the Visually and Hearing Impaired" for a while now and I can recommend it as a quiet alternative for cube dwellers. It can be noisy if you want. Not only does it have flashing lights – it has an alarm, and vibration. Each mode of alert can be switched on or off. It also has a magnet on the back so it sticks nicely on the whiteboard surface at the back of my desk. It sits just to the right of my monitor, in arm’s reach, and it flashes bright enough to catch my attention even when I’m deep into some code.