The five minute solution

Five minutes of deep breathing or jogging in place. Five minutes of answering emails or writing a proposal. Five minutes of paying bills or making phone calls. Five minutes of organizing the desk or cleaning out the car.

Stopwatch

Image in public domain

Who could argue with five minutes? Five minutes is like nothing. Very few excuses can withstand the persuasive power of “only five minutes.”

Yes, five minutes is over in no time at all, yet one five-minute interval today and another tomorrow and the next day can yield significant accomplishments, especially if you’ve been procrastinating.

The real magic of the five minute solution is that it draws you into the task. Just getting started is often the most significant step in achieving anything. Setting out to do only five minutes gets you started.

Try this: Think of something you’ve been procrastinating about. What can you do in five minutes to complete a small task or chip away at a big project?  Set a timer and go for five minutes.

At the end of the time, see what you’ve accomplished. Who knows, maybe you’ll even want to do more of it. Or maybe you’ll discover that the task is not so aversive after all.

Then plan for your next five minute solution later today or tomorrow.

To your ease!

Pat Daniel, Ph.D.

© Pat Daniel, Ph.D. and wizardofease.com, 2011.
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