The Power of Ten Minutes

Okay, I’m going to be honest.  Today I feel like I’m living out the lyrics to Bruno Mars’ “lazy song”, which goes something like “Today, I don’t feel like doing anything…”

I just got back from a fabulous vacation, and instead of being rested and inspired to take on the dirty laundry, empty refrigerator, unread mail, and unpacked bags, I have instead only scheduled a massage and eyed the novel I haven’t quite finished.

This kind of behavior would be all fine and good if I were indeed still on vacation, but the truth is, I’m not.  I have to get started, including getting my fingers working again on the computer and getting my brain back in the mode of appreciating the simple things around me. I know I need to do these things, and can’t truly relax until I got started.

I give myself ten minutes.

Ten minutes to write this blog, ten minutes to read the backlogged email, ten minutes to clean up, ten minutes to exercise, ten minutes to practice my guitar, and ten minutes to meditate/pray.

Turns out, this ten minute pledge can be life-changing.  All of us know we can do anything for ten minutes, no matter how much we hate it, how out of shape we are, or how busy our day appears to be.   It’s buying into that all-or-nothing American mentality that every single thing must be done to the Utmost if it’s going to be done at all that paralyzes us into doing just that…nothing.

No, my house is not going to be fully clean, I will not play like Jimmy Hendricks, and I am not going to write the Great American Novel in 10 minutes.  But you know what?  That little something proves to be infinitely better than nothing.

I’ve found that when I pledge 10 minutes to something, one of three things happen:

1) I discover that what I had avoided doing actually takes way less than 10 minutes (examples: emptying the dishwasher, flossing my teeth, doing 100 sit-ups).

2) The dreaded 10 minutes flies by as I race myself to complete the task, and before I know it, I’m making up excuses for why I am allowing myself extra time to complete the very task I’d been avoiding.

3) I am so empowered by how much I accomplished in “just” 10 minutes that I am inspired to find other 10-minute chunks of time in my day to accomplish other items from my “cringe list.”

What could we all do today with 10 minutes?  Pick the one thing nagging at you and give yourself ten minutes to work on it…no more.  I can almost guarantee you’ll be surprised at how much you accomplish, how easy it was, and how empowered you will be to take on more.

We’re onto something with this 10 minute thing.  We can save our day by just devoting this small chunk of time to the one thing standing in the way of our enjoying it.  Just imagine what could happen if the whole world devoted 10 minutes a day to saving it? If we all spent an extra ten minutes a day learning? Loving? Listening? Healing? Praying? Meditating? Fixing? Strengthening?

What 10 minutes are we lacking in our day? Our lives?  Let’s do it together.  We’re so close…

This week, let’s recognize every 10 minute opportunity we have.  We all have it- let’s all use it to its full potential.

And for the record, I allowed myself an extra few minutes to complete this blog (see #2 above.)

 

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