As entrepreneurs wearing many hats, and with no one to keep us accountable for our time, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the freedom of being able to decide what to do next. There are a lot of time management tactics and productivity tools out there, and you’ll see many of them mentioned throughout this blog. This one, however, is my own.
Life in 10 minutes was actually born out of a date I had one weekend. More specifically, it was the outcome of the mess I made trying to get dressed for the date and the lethargic effects of the wine I experienced the following morning, which, coupled together, led me to procrastinate cleaning my room. After blindly staring at the mess from my couch for an hour, I got so fed up with my lack of productivity—especially since cleaning my room was the thing I was doing to avoid the work I needed to be doing—that I finally put my foot down. Or rather, I picked my iPhone up and set the timer for 10 minutes. I told myself that I would get whatever I could done in that timeframe and reassess afterward. Who can’t suffer through ten minutes, right?
Well, wouldn’t you know that 10 minutes later I was almost completely finished cleaning my room and managed to power through another 3 minutes to cross it off my list! Further, the feeling of accomplishment left me more motivated to get to the rest of my work. I applied the same tactic to the rest of my list that day, and have been using it ever since. It has proven helpful in starting writing projects, nailing a design, invoicing, even working on my taxes (yep, even taxes are bearable in ten-minute increments). I challenge you to try it out and let me know how goes.
Many timers have different ideas of what constitutes the most productive time-increment. Pomodoro (I use this one) is a favorite of mine for working on some things—it has you work for 25 minutes, take a 5 minute break, and continues in that cycle until you finish. However, I find that the 25 minute time slot is too large if I’m trying to accomplish one specific task. I’ll inevitably try to include a million “tiny” items to my list of things to do within that 25 minutes before I even start working on what’s crucial. So it depends on the project, and obviously what works best for your specific situation!