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Thursday, December 16, 2010

What Can You Accomplish with Just Five Minutes?

When our kids were young, we often called them in for a "quick five minute clean-up." Because there were so many kids in a small house (seven), they often tried to get away with doing very little (yes, even less than a whopping five minutes of work!). You know what we'd do?  We start the time over. EVERYONE pays when someone slacks on a measly five minutes. 

A year into it, I realized they didn't really understand the concept (they were ages 4-13 at the time).  By having each one, separately, set the time and do as much as fast as they can until it goes off, they realized they could literally make a difference-an impact, really-by working gung-ho. Their five minute quick clean up work was usually much cleaner than when they'd take a half hour to do the same job.

For each action is a reaction; a consequence.  Because they took their five minutes seriously, they often didn't have any other cleaning to do for the day.  You can say the reward was immediate AND delayed and, quite honestly, they were proud of themselves.

Yesterday, I wrote I'm on a type of leave from work (purposely planning ZERO home parties with At Home America and letting the writing slide).  Though I do not have a home party planned, I do take a few minutes to find a great sale item and list it in my signature, on a postcard, or perhaps on Facebook.  And that's when lightning struck.

Why not do a five minute quick WRITE UP?  The kids cleaned five minutes. When I was a personal trainer, I would tell clients to exercise even just five minutes, knowing it often led to five more, and so on.  So, why not use the same idea with writing?

Before putting the timer on, I made a decision about WHAT to write (since I usually try to do eight or nine projects all at one time and make little or no headway).  With the decision in place (the screenplay), I wrote. And wrote. And wrote some more.  It's only been fifteen minutes, yet I wrote more, and more seriously, than I have the entire week.

Who'd ever think it'd be this easy?  Just five minutes a day.

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