Sometimes the hardest part of getting things done is starting. As a perfectionist by nature, I can sometimes procrastinate a project if I feel like I don’t think I can get it completely finished (aka completely perfect) in the time or energy I have available to me.
There’s a pretty big problem with that, though… it means that, sometimes, I put things off when I could just begin them and get them done, or at the very least get them started and on the way to done! I’ve already talked about how perfect is the enemy of done, and I know that’s true, but sometimes it’s still difficult to get yourself going, am I right?
And that’s where this trick comes into play – which my mom taught me when I was a little child perfectionist not wanting to clean my room because I knew I didn’t have time to get everything just right…
The Timer Technique
Seriously, you guys, I SWEAR by this technique and it is just about the easiest thing on earth to implement.
Set a timer for 15 minutes. (Or 20 minutes. Or 30 minutes. Whatever seems reasonable and doable to you at the time.)
Tell yourself that you only have to work for 15 minutes. (Or whatever. You get the gist.)
And…voila! Start working until the timer goes off!
99% of the time I will work for the set amount of time and then proceed to continue working because I’ve already gotten started and the task no longer seems too overwhelming or frustrating to take on. I’ve already done the hardest part, which is starting, and I’m ready to keep going!
And the other 1%? It’s okay, because I completed the task I gave myself! I worked for the duration of time I’d set so I still succeeded!
I know this sounds so absurd, but seriously… try it!
The next time you’re faced with a frustrating or difficult task that you find yourself wanting to put off, just set the timer instead.
You’ll either get yourself started on a task that you’ll continue until it’s finished or AT THE VERY LEAST you’ll get started on what needs to be done.
Either way you’re further along than you were when you were twiddling your thumbs and trying to find any activity to do instead of the one most pressing. (*GUILTY*)
It works for cleaning. It works for responding to emails. It works for pretty much any task at hand that you just don’t want to do.
I can’t wait for you guys to experience the magic of this timer trick! Try it and let me know how it works for you!!