We are busy people. Many of us have a to-do list a mile long, 50 sticky notes plastered across the bathroom mirror and mental notes we make to ourselves that often resurface two minutes too late. Layer procrastination on top of everything else, and soon enough, we start to feel overwhelmed.
I know I used to feel that way all of the time. And as my aspirations grew, my to-do list seemed to outpace my physical ability to do it all. So I started to look for new ways to maximize my time and stumbled across the power of 5 minutes. I learned that I could actually get a lot done when I focused my energy for this short period of time. Here is how it works.
Step 1: Select a task. I recommend you choose one you haven’t started/finished due to procrastination. For me, that task would be any type of creative writing.
Step 2: Organize everything you need in order to accomplish the task. For me, that would entail opening a blank document on my laptop, turning on myIntense Focus Rdio Station, and taking a deep breath.
**FYI – your prep time should not take longer than 5 minutes.**
Step 3: Set your timer for 5 minutes.
Step 4: Start your timer and start working. You will solely focus on this task for the next 5 minutes. That means cutting off all distractions, which may include social media, internet browsing, texting, tweeting, online shopping, face-timing, calling, talking, eating, drinking, brooding, doodling, napping, and day-dreaming.
Step 5: Repeat. See how far you get in the first 5 minutes. If you have more time, reset the timer and do it again until you are satisfied. If you don’t have more time, that’s OK. Schedule another 5 minute session for yourself within the next 24 hours.
What makes this technique so effective is that it allows you to get started – which is normally half the battle. If you complete the task – great! If you don’t – you still made more progress against the goal than you did the day before. Progress is good.
Not quite sold on the power of 5 minutes? Here is a list of things you can actually accomplish in 5 minutes that will lead to transformative results.
Meditate for 5 minutes.
Drink a glass of water in 5 minutes…5 times a day.
Exercise! Have you ever tried 5 minutes’ worth of HIIT? It will change your life.
Before you go to bed, spend 5 minutes setting up your top 5 priorities for the next day.
Take 5 minutes to write and reflect on a gratitude list. This does wonderful job of lifting your spirit and motivating you.
Limit your perusal of YouTube, Instagram and Vine to 5 minutes per 5 hours every day. See how much more you are able to accomplish in one day.
And last but not least, spend 5 minutes focusing your energy on one task that has been sitting on your procrastination to do list.
There is something about having a short deadline that forces us to get the important things done. It’s enough time for adrenaline, clarity and ability to surge all at once and make things happen. It can also alleviate any anxiety or pressure we may feel about starting a particular task because it allows us to turn a project into smaller, manageable parts.
So here’s the challenge. For the next 5 days…use the power of 5 minutes to tackle your goals. I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to share your results in the comments section.
Your Personal Coach,