Stop Procrastinating With the Ten Minute Rule of Productivity
The 10 minute rule is a common practice in the UK where a backbench member of parliament, who is neither a part of the government nor the opposition, is asked to make a 10 minute speech for a new bill. After that, another member of parliament is asked to speak for 10 minutes opposing the bill. Once the 10 minutes rule motion passes, it is added to the list of bills to be debated.
The 10 minute rule is considered a practical and productive way to review the issues that can disrupt the legislation. The 10 minute rule of productivity can effectively tackle the struggle with procrastinating.
Just work for ten minutes
The 10 minute rule of productivity is about tricking your limbic system by talking yourself into getting started. The idea is to make starting the task as easy as possible. Instead of focusing on the outcome it is about focusing on the output. Avoid overplanning and overthinking. Just get started.
If you are a programmer and you have to build a new product feature, tell yourself to code for 10 minutes. Similarly if you have to run for five kilometers, tell yourself that you will run for 10 minutes. Most of the time he will decide to keep going along past the initial 10 minutes. This technique works effectively because he will do the work for a longer duration once we get started.
The 10 minute rule is all about the art of showing up. It is not about quick wins rather it’s about the ripple effect of getting started.
It is harder to start than to keep going.
It is harder to start something when you are procrastinating. After you start, it becomes easier to continue. It is about getting in the flow and forgetting that you just committed for just 10 minutes.
It focuses on the output and not the outcome.
When you commit to a task for 10 minutes, it removes the pressure of being successful. The measure of performance becomes something simple and controllable.
It helps build new habits.
Developing a habit is often hard and setting bigger targets just makes it more complicated. However the 10 minute rule is easy and repeatable, which will help you form new habits.
The 10 minute rule of productivity is so efficient because it allows you to get some tangible output. Commit to a short amount of time, get started, and see if you want to keep going on past the initial few minutes. And if you did and if you decide to stop, a few minutes are better than nothing anyway.