The ten minute rule is a great way to be productive, increase motivation, and better your time management skills. Great for exercise, homework, or cleaning tasks!
We all have times (or days, weeks, months) when we’re feeling unproductive. I think that’s just part of the human experience – feeling 100% ready to work at all times would be exhausting! And I am in no way an exception to this – as a matter of fact, I’ve had a week of just “blah” when trying to write this post. It’s not necessarily that I didn’t want to write it – just that the motivation in the midst of summer with my kids wasn’t there.
But, when push comes to shove – sometimes you just have to muster through, no matter your motivation level. I’m kind of a stickler for keeping up with my editorial calendar for the blog, so I invoked one of my favorite productivity tricks…
The Ten Minute Rule
This is one of the simplest productivity tricks you’re ever going to find. But, I’ve found that the simplest tricks are usually the most effective! For The Ten Minute Rule, all you have to do is find a ten minute chunk of free time. Take your to do list, find the most important item, and just make yourself do whatever it takes to complete that task for ten minutes. Don’t stop unless the house is on fire or somebody’s bleeding.
Really, that’s it.
Sometimes it helps to set a timer on your phone for ten minutes…it can be difficult to accurately gauge time when you’re doing something you’re not really feeling. 😉 This is one of the core strategies I use in Journey to Clean to keep your house maintained every day. Set a timer for ten minutes and just clean – it doesn’t matter what or where! Just don’t stop until that timer goes off. But the ten minute rule can be used for so much more than just cleaning.
Once you start using the Ten Minute Rule in your life, you’ll realize that most of those tasks on your to do list take a lot less time that you think. I would be willing to bet that at least half of your to do list items can be accomplished in under 10 minutes. If they can’t, it might be time to start breaking those bigger goals down into smaller, easy-to-complete chunks – I have a whole post about doing that over here.
Now, what happens when those ten minutes are over and you’re not finished with a task? That’s entirely up to you and your motivation level at that point. If you’ve committed a solid, hard-working ten minutes to that task and it’s not quite done, see how you’re feeling about completing it. If you’re still just not in a groove, let it go for now – however, I’m going to go ahead and predict that the majority of the time, you’ll find that those ten minutes of work spurred a little bit of a pep in your step.
That’s the beauty of the ten minute rule! Sometimes, all it takes is a little bit of momentum to start a flurry of productivity. I totally feel that right now, as a matter of fact – I’ve been working on this post for a little more than ten minutes as of right now, and I totally feel like pushing through. I can’t say that I felt that 10 minutes ago. It’s crazy how well this works!
And, if you need a printable to help you get organized, I’ve got you covered!
This is a take on the To Do List from Year of Intent that allows you to rank your list by importance. It also lets you estimate completion time for each one so you can visually pick out any inconsistencies or tasks that might be too time-consuming (and need to be broken down into smaller parts, as mentioned above). Once your list is ranked and estimated, you can easily choose three tasks per day that can be completed under the ten minute rule!
This printable is free – just click here to download. Hope you enjoy!
You can see more of my organization posts by clicking here. And, if you like this printable, stay tuned – I have a new edition of the Year of Intent, my mega collection of coordinated printables, coming in just a few weeks!
READY TO ORGANIZE A HOME YOU'LL LOVE?
Subscribe to the Lamberts Lately newsletter for the latest from the blog. You'll also get access to the newsletter-exclusive printable collection, full of home organization printables!