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I thought about opening the pool weeks ago, when the weather first turned nice. But I put it off.
Then it rained. Then got cool again. Then I was busy.
With only 5 more days of school left for the kids, they began to ask me, “When are you going to open the pool dad?”
I really didn’t feel like doing it, but knew it had to be done.
So yesterday I had a few minutes before dinner and decided I would just get the hoses ready. Get the clamps out. Maybe skim some of the leftover leaves and debris from off the cover. I could do that in ten minutes.
It was almost 9pm when I called it quits. Only because it was getting too dark to see and the mosquitoes were taking advantage of the situation.
All the mechanicals were ready. The cover was fully emptied of standing water and debris. I had dragged the cover off and then emptied the anchoring water weights and packed them up too. All that remained was to add the chemicals required to bring the water up to swim quality.
What’s that old saying? Newton said it I think. “An object in motion tends to stay in motion.”
Sometimes we just need to get moving. Get started.
One of the easiest ways I found to do this is by using the magical power of 10.
Tasks can seem daunting and unpleasant. So we put them off until we have, “more time”.
We never get more time. We use it all. Everyday. So we give this a fancy name: Procrastination.
But when you commit to doing something for just 10 minutes, your brain says, “OK, I can just do a little.”
10 minutes gets past your brain’s gatekeeper. We can all do just about anything for a little while.
I’ve found great success and advocate asking 10 questions to get started on ideas for writing your book. I’ve written about that strategy in my book and in other blog posts.
10 minutes works for just about any task you need to do, but have been putting off.
This morning I had 10 minutes to spare before I had to take the girls to their final exam. So I put together a list of ideas, 10 things you might be putting off, and could benefit from, by giving just 10 minutes of your time to. Today.
I’m calling them: 10 Minute Motivators
1. Do 10 pushups and 10 squats. Might not take even 10 minutes, but it always gets me to do more. I need to do more exercise. Everyday. When I do this, I always do more and feel better afterward.
2. Go outside and take 10 photographs. When you look for something cool, you find it. What we focus our brain on, we find evidence of. Look just around your room now and count how many blue things you see. Now go outside and look for 10 interesting or beautiful things to take a photo of. You’ll find them. The world is full of beauty, but we don’t take enough time to consciously look for it. This can be life changing. Imagine heading out each day looking for what’s good in the world instead of what’s bad. Look for the good. Look for the beauty. It’s there. I know. I’m a photographer.
3. Write for 10 minutes. Just 10 minutes. Make journal entries. Start on your book. Or add a few paragraphs to one you’ve started. Write a blog post. Write a thank you note to someone. Anyone. You don’t even have to send it. Who would you thank and why? Write your dreams or goals or a plan for today. Take 10 minutes.
4. Read a book for 10 minutes. Fiction or non-fiction. A real book now, not surfing Yahoo news. I have stacks of new books, some I started, some not yet begun. I could read them all, if I would just take 10 minutes today and tomorrow. ( I’m good for 45 minutes to 1 hour once I start reading, but I can never justify or set aside 1 hour to read. I have to trick myself with “Just for 10 minutes”)
5. Read quotations for 10 minutes. You can Google “quotes” or “quotations” and have days worth of reading. But really take just 10 minutes to get inspired. To get motivated to do or be better. Or just Google “funny quotes” and have a laugh. Reading quotes always makes me feel better.
6. List 10 things to do today. Often harder than it seems to come up with the full ten. But they say, “those who fail to plan, plan to fail”.
7. List 10 things you did yesterday. I often feel lazy. Like I’m not doing enough. “Living up to my full potential” as my mother used to say. We often don’t give ourselves enough credit. But when forced to list the things I did yesterday, I’m usually impressed. You might be too. What did you do? Who did you help? How did you make something better. Did you make someone laugh? That’s a day to be proud of. Make your list then give yourself a pat on the back. Most days, you deserve it.
8. Google a topic of interest. Do you have a hobby? Something that needs fixing? A question you’ve always wondered about? Don’t go crazy here, you can get lost for hours. Really just spend ten minutes LEARNING about something new. If we get only 1% smarter each day, in a year we are more than 3 times as smart as we were when we started. It has been said that we can become a master at anything if we just commit to one hour of concentrated study each day. Take 10 minutes to start. That’s just how I came to master Photoshop and go on to sell tutorial books around the world. I started watching videos on Youtube. Watch two 5 minute videos and there you go. You’re smarter.
9. Clean up. Be honest, you’ve got a mess somewhere that needs tending too. I do. The garage. My desk. My maintenance room. Take 10 minutes and just straighten up a little. Usually, the cleanup takes much less time than you think it will. And your brain shouts a resounding, “Yippee” at the completion. That’s a load off. Make your brain happy in just 10 minutes. Tidy up.
10. Take a hike. Actually, just a walk will do. Take a ten minute walk. I do this nearly everyday after I drop the kids at school in the morning. I’d rather go home and go back to bed. That’s where my energy level is. But I find if I just take that walk around the park, and it literally takes me 10 minutes, (I time it) my energy skyrockets and my thoughts become clearer. I’m ready to go home and get to work.
Maybe these 10 Minute Motivators will work for you. They do for me. Anyway, what have you got to lose? 10 minutes of your time?
If you are seriously so busy you do not have ten minutes to spare, to feel better, you probably need these tips more than anyone. Like the airlines say, you gotta put on your oxygen mask first. If you don’t help yourself, sooner or later you won’t be able to help anyone else either.
Take 10 minutes for yourself right now.
What will you do?