Category: Productivity

Do you have five minutes?

Do you have five minutes?

I’d been lying awake for a while, waiting for the alarm to ring. When it did, I gave it a five minute snooze. And I slept off. Till I was awakened with a start by the second alarm. That five-minute nap seems so much longer because it is the deepest most peaceful of all.

Another day I had to make a start on an assignment I was not looking forward to, and my laptop beckoned alluringly. ‘Five minutes’ I told myself, ‘I’ll check FB/Twitter for five minutes.’ Lo and behold before I knew it, an hour had flown by!

Five minutes is a truly miraculous time-span, able to stretch and shrink at will or so it would seem. It never really is ‘five minutes’ as your clock tells you.

As a mom to twin almost-teens ‘Five minutes, please’ ranges right up there in the list of most annoying statements ever along with ‘Chill mom’ and ‘Sup mom’.

And then quite by accident I stumbled upon the the five-minute rule to beat procrastination. Yup the same five minutes that I thought were a procrastinator’s BFF can be used to beat it.

It was Instagram Founder Kevin Systrom’s who came up with this idea. Here’s how it works: When you come across a task you dislike or think of as too tough to handle (managing laundry for me, cleaning the room for the kids) all you do is tell yourself you have to do it for just five minutes.

Two things may happen – you might do it for five minutes and stop, in which case you would have at least made a start. Also, you’ll realise how much you really can do in five minutes.

However, chances are you’re going to continue doing the task for much longer, maybe even to completion.

The thing is, a task looks insurmountable only till you don’t dig into it. Once there, it often isn’t as hard as you imagined and you tend to keep going at it.

We’re changing houses this summer and that means lots of decluttering, of opening drawers never opened before and taking down books and knick-knacks I am not even sure what to do with. I am tempted to pack everything up and take it along, while also realising that this is the best decluttering opportunity I’ll ever have. The five-minute-rule has helped me get a grip on things.

I tried it. It works.

On my other blog: Beat About The Book

Ghosts and Writers #BookBytes 12

Ghosts and Writers #BookBytes 12

I am currently reading Eating Wasps by Anita Nair. Here’s a quote that caught my eye, specially as a writer. “Ghosts and writers are more alike than you think. We can be what you want us to be. We can hear your thoughts even if you don’t tell us. We can read the silences and […]