What can you do in the next 10 minutes? I was a bit stunned by the question. 10 minutes? My list is so long, I’m overwhelmed and you are asking what I can do in the next 10 minutes?
I admit I didn’t react well.
As the conversation continued, I realised she might be on to something. My list was long that was true. But she was asking me to consider thinking about a concrete, short amount of time. In this case ten minutes. Can I find 3 ten minute windows of time in my day to focus on one of the tasks on my list? Not all the tasks. Not all the time. One task, 3 blocks of ten minutes. I picked moving unused gravel, left over from the build, down the meadow where we needed. And picked 3 ten minute windows of time – after dropping the kids at school, lunchtime, and after the kids are in bed.
I did it for a week and at the end of the week I was crossing that job off the list. I was happy. And I had found a few more 10 minute windows. And the physicality of it helped clear my head from the zoom cobwebs.
This was months ago. But I am still going with my list. In reality the list hasn’t shrunk much even though things are crossed off. But the overwhelm is much more manageable now. I’m focused on one thing at a time and chip away at it slowly. But everyday I see progress which helps me keep going.
It is a simple technique. But effective. It can be used for almost anything. The amount of time can be more than 10 minutes, that’s up to you. But breaking big jobs down into small pieces can help. It’s like that old saying about how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
So over to you, what can you do in the next ten minutes?