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Use this “10-minute rule” for a better quality of life

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Cecilia Pigg - published on 01/11/22

This time management strategy and simple and effective. These 5 ideas will get you started.

I got back from traveling for Christmas and seemingly overnight the house was a wreck … lovely new gifts that didn’t have a place to belong yet, loads of laundry from the trip that needed to be cleaned, and a kitchen that somehow filled up with dishes after one solitary meal. “It will take me weeks to get this place back in order,” I groaned to myself.

Thankfully, as I pretended that the mess didn’t exist, the words of a wise friend came ringing cheerily into my mind: “It’s life-changing to realize how much you can do in 10 minutes!”

And, boy is that true. Once you realize just how much a meager 10 minutes of productivity will do in your life each day, it’s hard to look back.

At the same time, it’s also amazing how many 10-minute periods can pass you by completely unused because you’re dreading the things you have to do. If you are unmotivated, depressed, or just plain struggling with laziness, set a timer for 10 minutes and see what you can do.

Here are some ideas for 10 minute tasks that you can start right now … 

10 minutes of morning routine

Even if you are working from home, or if you are on vacation, or if you have nowhere to go for the whole day, take 10 minutes near the beginning of the day to get ready for the day — take a shower, put real clothes on, brush your teeth, etc. Not only will it change how you approach everything else in your day, and your attitude, but it will prepare you to complete countless more 10 minutes of hard work in the next several hours.

10 minutes of prayer

In the morning before work, you can get in 10 minutes of prayer. Read a verse from scripture, and then sit in silence with God, reflecting on the verse. Give Jesus permission to work in you throughout the day, and thank Him for everything you have and will get to experience in the coming hours. If you already know what specific struggles you will face at work or at home, offer those struggles to Him already. Ask for the grace to love the people you encounter well. 

10 minutes of meal prep

You know what other essential task takes 10 minutes, but we often put off or skip altogether? Eating. You can make a sandwich or a salad with some kind of protein (tuna, beans, chicken you cooked for 10 minutes last Saturday so it would be ready for the week) in under 10 minutes. You might need to put in a little bit of prep time, but with some things ready to go,  meals during the day can be quick and easy and keep you going better than coffee or chocolate or an empty stomach. 

10 minutes of a project

Throughout the day, whether you are at work or home, notice what projects you’ve been procrastinating about. Commit to spending 10 uninterrupted minutes on one of these projects when you come to a lull in your normal duties. That short time of diving into what you’ve been avoiding may just be what you needed to get it up and off the ground.  

10 min of clean up

While making dinner, or before you wind down for the evening, it takes about 10 minutes to unload and load the dishwasher. An empty dishwasher or a dishwasher ready to be run will keep you sane, and give you a good start to a clean kitchen (and if you devote just 10 additional minutes to the kitchen after the dishwasher, the kitchen will be in good shape). 

This could start a reboot for you (and me!) this year. Never mind a resolution, let’s start a 10-minute revolution to get our days back in focus! 

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