Friday, February 26, 2010

Household Tip: The 10 Minute Rule

I'm one of those people that often puts off a job because it simply seems overwhelmingly big. Or sometimes I'll get started with the task, but then I'm soon distracted and doing something else that needs to get done and soon end up having four things that I'm working on at once. And then I begin to feel like I'm not getting anything done!

One of my goals for this year is to learn how to be more efficient, especially as a homemaker. One of the things that I've started doing is following what I've dubbed "The 10 Minute Rule". When I have a task that needs to get done, I'll set the kitchen timer for 10 minutes and dive into it. Knowing that the clock is ticking helps me stay focused and stick with what I started working on.

And staying focused is something I need help with. It is so easy for me to be going about my work and then decide to just take a minute to check email, read a magazine article or post on Facebook. Next thing I know I spent 10 minutes doing something that was maybe okay to do but didn't really help me get anything done if you know what I mean.

"The 10 Minute Rule" is also a great way to get me motivated. For instance, this morning I was feeling lazy. It was snowing and overcast and those kind of days always make me feel like just sitting around. Nothing was desperately calling for my attention and so I meandered through several hours accomplishing little and feeling rather frustrated with myself.

Suddenly I remembered the "10 Minute Rule" and decided that was just what I needed to get me going. So I set the timer- this time for 20 minutes- and decided to see how much cleaning I could get done. Before I knew it the downstairs was organized and dusted and I finished just as the timer started to beep.

Then I set the timer for 10 minutes and tackled the dreaded chore of responding to emails. Next I'm going to set it for another 20 minutes and see if I can get the downstairs swept. I'm already feeling more motivated and probably won't even bother to use the "10 Minute Rule" to help me get the bathroom cleaned.

Have you ever used "The 10 Minute Rule"? What tools do you use to help you be efficient and get things done?


  1. Hey...that sounds like a good idea that I should try! I don't feel very motivated even though there are things that I SHOULD be doing. ~Susan

  2. I love the 10 minute rule. Me too--it's so easy to feel like I'm doing a lot, about 5 things at a time, and finish nothing, but end up with parts of many tasks creating a real mess. Sometimes I use the 20 minute timer--and then am very pleased at how much I can get done in that time, such as cleaning a very messy kitchen. Thanks! Kerry D.


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