10 Minutes To Get Things Done

We are now well on our way into 2014 and I started off nicely with an afternoon of reading J.S. Back Fugues, Book I with many wonderful musicians hosted by my lovely friend, composer and violinist,Dana Lyn. Nothing feels better than playing some Bach but after that wonderful day, I got a stomach bug and was out for a good couple of days. It wasn’t your average 24 hour thing. This bug lingered and never got seriously bad but for about four days I was extremely nauseous all day and night (fun!).

Now school is back in session and everyone is back to work. I was really hoping to hit the ground running with projects and goals and what I ended up with instead was a sluggish start that makes me feel like I’m moving in molasses. After a week of this slow motion business I decided that I needed a plan to start getting things done.

Full disclosure: I am a procrastinator. I am inefficient, slow, scatter brained, and sometimes downright lazy. I’m not proud of this, but there you have it.

So, how does a person like myself get things done? I have discovered that for me, 10 minutes is a magical length of time. What can you do in 10 minutes, you ask? You would think not a lot, but I have discovered that I am the Queen of Efficiency when I am working with only 10 minutes. Add up a few 10 minute sessions and you start to see things really happen.

To give you an example, last Wednesday I decided to really see how much 10 minutes could give me. From 11:00am to 3:00pm I tidied up the foyer, bedroom, living room, and cleaned the sink and toilet and washed a ton of dishes in the kitchen. I also practiced 20 minutes of piano and 20 minutes of singing (that may not seem like a lot but I rarely ever get to practice one instrument let alone two), exercised for 20 minutes, meditated, and also had some leisure time (Facebook, emails, etc…)

Now perhaps for some of you four hours might seem like plenty of time to get this much done but for a person like myself who usually just gets overwhelmed and resigns herself to watching a couple of hours of Netflix and tidying up one room (maybe), I was on fire! The best part of the day was that I didn’t feel overwhelmed by what I felt I had to get done. Every task felt easy because, really, how much can you expect to do in 10 minutes? I wanted to get as much done as I could in 10 minutes but when it was over, it was over and I moved on to another task.

I also tried to get some kind of closure with each task so that I wasn’t leaving a bigger mess. Overall, the experience was so satisfying that now I set the timer whenever I want something done—and then it gets done. I feel no guilt if I don’t get more done and I feel good that I put in my 10 minutes. I plan to continue this little 10 minute project and see how far I can go with it.

This method is certainly not for everyone but for someone like me who tends to get flustered easily by how much there always is to do, I think it’s just right.

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