I’m giving myself ten minutes to write this. Because it will take as much time as I allow it.
I used to be a big time procrastinator (sometimes I still am). The reasons for procrastination vary - and mine usually involved paralyzing perfectionism. But along with that perfectionism was an understanding that whatever project I was putting off wouldn’t take as much energy, time, and effort if I put it off rather than doing “a little each day.”
The “do a little each day” philosophy never made sense to me. If I worked on a research paper a little bit each day, it would take way longer than it needed to. Not to mention the time it would take to get back into the swing of it, remembering where I left off each time, etc. I’m a binger, not a chipper.
The perspective that made much more sense to me was:
If you wait until the last minute, it only takes a minute to do.
And as much as it was an excuse to just put off school projects, I’m seeing more wisdom in that perspective now than I ever have. Maybe not the "wait until the last minute" part, but the idea of giving yourself a tight deadline.
If I gave myself an hour (or just “however long it takes”) to write this note to you, I would take all that time. And it might not be because it would really take that long to write, but because I would wander over to Facebook, change my mind about the subject, go off on different tangents, check Facebook again, and maybe finish it, or maybe just come back to it later.
What in the world! Why do that when you could just do it in ten minutes if you wanted?
What would it look like to limit your next project to ten minutes? I dare you to try it and report back. Tell me what you did and how it went!
Time’s up! :-)