THE FIFTEEN MINUTE SOLUTION

imagesSome projects look like mountains to climb.  They are overwhelming: Taxes.  Writing the Novel.  Paying Bills.  Hammering out a Business Plan.  Buying Christmas Presents.  Cleaning out the House, the Garage, the Closet.  Reorganizing the Office.  Mailing out Inquiry Letters.

A nap looks like the only solution.

Some of these mountainous projects have deadlines.  They get done—maybe with resistance and complaining, but they get done.

The ones that have no deadline are the hardest to tackle.  They can become invisible in my mind and disappear behind the clouds of other activities.  Then, one day, the out of the haze, the mountainous task takes shape again, and I can’t ignore it any more.

Starting these projects is the hardest part, I find, but breaking it down to bite size actions helps me.  Someone once asked Stephen King how he could write so many books, “One word at a time,” was his quick response.  So, I am learning that when it is an overwhelming project to chunk it way down to edible bits.

I can do almost anything for 15 minutes at a time, so I set a timer and, say, go into my office to tackle the paper tiger snarling on my desk.  After 15 minutes, most times I just keep going, but by setting the timer, I can get myself started.  For me, starting is the hardest part.

That’s my 15 minute solution.  Hope it helps.  There goes the timer.