I’ve been a fan of the Ten Minute Trick for many, many, many years. T.M.T. and I have washed dishes, written articles, done yoga, walked on the treadmill, read Shakespeare, done homework (I told you it’s been many, many, many years), dusted, ironed, built websites, cleaned closets, swept floors, gardened, lifted weights…. Okay, okay. I got carried away. I have never lifted weights.
It works like this: Whatever task you have at hand, you commit a mere 10 minutes to it’s execution. The GOOD thing is you can get a lot accomplished in 10 minutes. The GREAT thing is, once you’ve begun, you inevitably will complete the task – even after the 10 minutes are up. In fact, I can’t remember many times when I abandoned an uncompleted enterprise simply because 10 minutes had passed. Algebra homework would be an exception – what can I say, when the brain’s fried, the brain’s fried.
Next time you have a task looming in front of you, taunting you, don’t take the easy route (“I’ll get to it tomorrow.”) Instead, take a look at the clock and commit 10 minutes to the task. You’ll either finish the task within 10 minutes, decide to stick with the momentum and finish it even if it takes an hour or more, or you’ll put a dent in it, saving the rest for another time. Even if you don’t complete the task at once, you’ve made the work easier (and shorter) for your return.
My favorite time to call the Ten Minute Trick into play is with the treadmill. It can seem like such a commitment to tie myself to huffing, puffing, sweating, and chugging water, but when I approach the whole experience with the mindset of “knocking out ten minutes,” I lace up my shoes, throw my hair up, and grab my ipod. Then we’re off!
The funny thing is – not once… not once have I ever stopped after 10 minutes. In fact, I did the same thing earlier today. I got my playlist all ready to go (the Oak Ridge Boys’ “The Boys Are Back” is a girl’s best friend on the treadmill), thinking that I’d walk for ten minutes.
35 minutes later, I’d gotten an excellent workout.
Try the 10 minute trick. You’re going to love it.