Your Daily Tips

Regain Your Time With a ‘Vent Clock’

Yes, you should spew out all your frustrations. But give it a time limit.

Robin Sacks
Published in
2 min readJul 4, 2021
Photo by Oladimeji Ajegbile on Unsplash

Editor’s note: Last month, we asked for your Daily Tips — the strategies, life hacks, and bits of wisdom that have made your life better. We love reading your responses and will be featuring some of our favorites here on Forge. To share your own Daily Tip, simply publish a post on Medium with the tag MyDailyTip.

It’s human nature. When something frustrates us, angers us, or just confuses us, we vent. We complain about it to anyone who will listen. We bring it up over and over, long after the event or conversation happened.

Venting can be a healthy thing to do, but have you ever paid attention to how much time you spend doing it? Try this: For one week, keep a log of how much time you spend complaining. I guarantee your total number will astound you.

But you can get back most of that time and use it for things that are much more productive, healthy, and just plain useful. Here’s how: Give yourself permission to vent for a specific amount of time. After that, you’re done.

I call this the “vent clock.” For example, let’s say that I had a phone call this morning that really got me mad. I could let myself carry that frustration throughout the day, walking around with a short fuse. Or I could use my vent clock. Here’s how it works:

  1. I set a timer on my phone for five minutes.
  2. I vent!
  3. When the time is up, I pick up my phone, walk away, and move on with my day

You may struggle to fill the full five minutes (because most things really aren’t that big a deal once you just get them out!). But afterward, you’ll feel empowered because you made a conscious decision to be intentional about your anger/frustration/disbelief, thereby taking control of the situation instead of allowing it to take control of you. You will get back the time you used to spend complaining about the same things over and over and over again.



Robin Sacks
Writer for

I speak, coach, and write about confidence, self-talk, and stress management. I also live for cozy mysteries and bad (read: good) puns.