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A 15-minute day... motivation for the tired self-employed

Today is one of my lack of concentration days. I'm tired, a bit down, spent yesterday moving furniture and such because I'm moving the studio back home (hence the "bit down" part). Energy is low so it's going to be...

DUM DUH DUM!
A timer day!

Yes, this is a brilliant approach to motivation and energy that I learned through CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) but coincidentally is recommended by a lot of business coaches too.

Set a timer for 15 minutes. Pick something from your list and just do it for 15 minutes. Put down. Re-set timer, pick something else (or the same task). Rinse and repeat. :) Do a fun task every 3rd 15 minutes. (I often choose World of Warcraft or a chapter from a book)

Most adults can easily focus for 15 minutes, even when tired or unmotivated. Often you end up working longer because once you're into it you'd like to finish that step/part/chapter/section. Even if you don't you'll find you've gotten a lot done in all those increments through the day. :) It's also a great way to tackle a really large task like organising or accounting.

So today is a 15 minute day for me! How about you? Who's with me?

31 Responses

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Inactive Etsy Member 6:02am Apr 29, 2012 EDT
I had a rough night last night but I'm with ya.
Creating cinnamon buns for my shop this morning.
yummmm! :) If only they were real.... And yes, the timer method is a good cure for the night before. ;)
This is a method I sometimes use (though I tend to give myself 20 minutes deadlines - I'm hardcore ha ha).

I agree, it's amazing what you can get done in short bursts. And even working on a task for a few minutes helps you feel like you've achieved something; often I find I have the motivation to carry on for longer than 20 minutes, once I've got past my apathy around making a start!
I do this--I got it from Flylady.com but have seen it elsewhere as well. It is how I got through mountains of clutter we inherited and how i cleared out space for a studio over the last few weeks--I had one but storage had taken over and it was overwhelming...now i'm using this technique cleaning up my gardens and the basement ;-) it also works for cleaning out old email files, etc--a task so boring i absolutely loathe it....
I am totally motivated for my work, I love it but your advice is wonderful for housework and filing etc. Thanks
If you are too tired, why don't you take a rest? This is to recharge yourself.

My energy levels are a symptom of other health issues Victor, so I can be tired a lot some days but don't actually need rest. I'd be recharging 24/7, lol! But yes you are completely right. If you are naturally tired it's good to rest! :) We shouldn't forget we're allowed time and days off.
this is a great idea, Tina :) been feeling a little unmotivated these last few days but still have things to do, so might give this a go!
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Inactive Etsy Member 7:13am Apr 29, 2012 EDT
I do this, too. I have Asperger's and have a little issue with hyperfocus. Setting the timer allows me to get many things done instead of just sitting at one task all day.

I've discovered it only takes 7 minutes to unload and reload the dishwasher. Just 5 to switch out the laundry! It's really helped me to not dread the tasks I used to hate because I know they don't take that long at all!

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