I’m sitting at my desk, staring at my note pad. I know what I need to do. I just can’t seem to muster up the energy to actually start. I don’t want to do all these administrative tasks that go along with adulthood. Why can’t someone else pay this medical bill, call the insurance provider, schedule the dog’s vet appointment, unload the dishwasher, etc etc etc. The mundane tasks of life can sometimes feel like a mountain, and i have to admit that I sometimes resort towards moving piles of clutter from one room to another, rather than putting them away.
But, little by little, slowly but surely, I am getting better at tackling these ugh-i-dont-wanna tasks head on. My key? The 10 Minute Rule.
If you google “10 Minute Rule” you’ll get wide interpretations on what it means. Some see it as breaking each task into 10 minute chunks, or interpret it as delegating what can’t be performed without 10 minutes (that would be a lot of delegation lol). Others view it as doing things as soon as they think of it, if it can be completed in 10 minutes or less.
For me, the 10 Minute Rule is more about tackling procrastination, and it’s really simple: If there is some task you are dreading, just do it for 10 minutes. If, at the end of 10 minutes, you don’t want to do it any more, you can stop guilt free.
I’ve experimented with different lengths of time. At first it was 30 minutes. But a free 30 minutes can be hard to find during a busy day. I know I have spent 10 minutes poking around on Instagram when I want a brain break, so I know how quickly 10 minutes can pass and how easy it is to find an extra 10 minutes.
For me, usually the things I am dreading take 10 minutes or less. Scheduling that doctor’s appointment, paying that one bill that isn’t on autopay, vacuuming the living room rug. So when I institute the 10 minute rule, I find I can tackle a lot more of my to-do list, without have to look at my piles or reminders and feeling guilt about passing it by, one more time.
The 10 Minute Rule has also helped me on days where I just do. not. want. to. exercise. Strap on those running shoes and get out the door. Put on your clothes and bust out some squats. Usually after 10 minutes, I am warmed up enough that I can keep going and get a full workout in. But there have been days where at the end of 10 minutes I still say nope, and head back home. But since I at least got my 10 minutes in, I feel less guilty than if I didn’t move at all.
I’ve noticed I have become significantly more efficient since implementing the 10 Minute Rule. Things that would tend to linger now get done, and I am more relaxed because of it. I don’t walk around the house looking at all the reminders of things I need to do, because for the most part, they have already been done!
If there are things you are dreading, why not give it a try and see if it works for you! If you have any other strategies for tackling the things you tend to avoid, please tell me about it in the comments below!