Some days, the words don’t come easily. The ideas aren’t popping. The fire won’t start (literally). The printer won’t work and the computer seems to be having a mid-life crisis. The house is a mess even though you seem to do nothing but pick up after everyone. The paperwork that needs to be filled out is multiplying before your eyes yet you can’t get to it no matter how hard you try.
Ever had a day like that? Or even a week?
I have, just this past week, and it is not the best of times. In fact, it can be quite maddening. It reminds me of that movie, Groundhog Day, where Bill Murray repeats the same day over and over again. No progress, just a loop of frustration.
Thankfully, somewhere towards the end of the week, I remembered the 20 minute solution and it saved me once again.
If you have multiple things coming at you at once and are feeling overwhelmed, you have a couple of options. You can do nothing and wait for it to pass. This is a good option and sometimes exactly the one that is needed to gain perspective and reclaim your bearings.
Or, you can walk to your kitchen timer and set it for 20 minutes. During that 20 minutes, you will devote yourself to one task only and when the timer goes off, you move on to the next thing – regardless of its state of completion. Take that 20 minutes to pick up the house, write, fix that silly computer, or work on whatever is troubling you.
Twenty minutes is actually a long time. You will be amazed at what you can accomplish when you know that you only have to give it 20 minutes of your attention. Interestingly, after the first few 20 minute “rounds,” you will probably find that a shift in your energy and attention has occurred.
You may feel more productive and relaxed because something has actually gotten started or even completed. You may even find that you are having fun in your efforts to beat the clock. Now, wouldn’t that be nice after the week you’ve had?
Try it. It’s just 20 minutes.