I feel like I’ve had a bit of an epiphany!  So I thought it would be unfair of me not to share…..

I was at a training session recently with one of my amazing clients and we were chatting about how difficult it can be to get assignments done.  We are both studying at the minute and have been thrown back into the world of deadlines and essays and homework… and we are both struggling to get things done without leaving it all to the very last minute and then feeling stressed and anxious and not producing our best work!

After we had consoled each other a bit and told ourselves that we were doing the best we can, (we are each other’s best cheerleaders!) my client said something that might just have changed my life!

Ok, so this might be a little overdramatic yes, but it has certainly made an impact on my life….

“Just commit to spending 10 minutes on it.”

So simple!

My mind was blown!

I could instantly see how this could benefit me!

Worst case scenario, I only spend 10 minutes on it, but I would have at least made a start!

Best case scenario, I would get to the end of the 10 minutes and be in the flow and keep going for a bit longer.

Either way, I would make progress.   I would move forwards.  I would stop worrying about finding the time to get started and just do it!

I loved it!

This isn’t only effective with assignments or essays…. it works with lots of other things too!

For example, I had a HUUUUUGE pile of ironing building up and I kept putting it off and thinking I needed a good hour or two to get through it.  But when do I have a free hour or two??!   Or, if I’m being totally honest, if I do have a free hour or two, I don’t want to spend it doing my ironing!!  This does not fill my heart with joy! (I am not a lover of housework…..)

So, last night I said to myself, “Spend 10 minutes ironing and see what you can get done”.

40 minutes later I had the bulk of it done!  Go me!!

This 10 minute thing spurs me into action!

It breaks big jobs down into smaller, more manageable chunks and it gets me out of planning mode and into ACTION!

Need to declutter your house?   Spend 10 minutes on it TODAY!  Don’t think about it as a whole big project…just get started!  Clear one drawer, one shelf, one toy box….  just do something for 10 minutes!

I talk about this as one of my actions in my SERENITY program – how we can feel so overwhelmed with the magnitude of BIG tasks.  So overwhelmed that we just go round and round in circles, never actually getting things done, never actually starting anything and never progressing forwards.  This horrible overwhelm prevents us from progressing forwards.  It clutters up our heads with “stuff” that we need to get around to.  It holds us back. It keeps us “stuck” in a horrible, unpleasant place.

If you can manage to say to yourself, “I will spend 10 minutes on this task” you are breaking this big, overwhelming job into smaller, DOABLE pieces.  You are getting yourself out of this horrible place of overwhelm and giving yourself a chance to actually get started!

(link to SERENITY is here http://emilyclifford.com/portfolio-item/serenity/)


So, the next time you have something to do and you keep putting it off or keeping it for when you think you might have enough time to devote to it,  why not try following the 10 minute rule?

Set your timer and GO!

Get started.

Move forwards.

Stop planning and thinking and start DOING!




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