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  • Writer's pictureKristin Woodward

the power of 10


i am one of the biggest slackers on the planet. seriously. yet also, i’m one of the biggest to-do listers. shockingly, to my knowledge, there is no multiple personality thing going on here. whew. but so wtf, right? honestly, living with me has to be kind of insane (even if not clinically so). just ask Spy.

all that said, i recently had a true epiphany: everything i most hate to do can probably be accomplished in about 10 minutes.

truth. why do i procrastinate so much when a mere 10 minutes of dedication to one single task can accomplish so damn much? so lately, i’ve started experimenting. i set the timer on my iPhone for 10 minutes just to see how much of my most-hated tasks i can accomplish. i even gave myself the leeway of hey, do it for 10 minutes and if it’s not finished, cool, but at least you made a dent and can come back to it later. it’s kind of like the mindset of exercising, right? even if you only do it for 10 minutes, it’s better than sitting on your ass for 10 minutes.

as a result, my new thing is doing 10 minutes of whatever at a time. usually, i get so close to the end that i finish anyway in like 15 minutes. and somehow, it makes even the most daunting tasks seem not so overwhelming because there is a firm get the heck out time.

most-hated chores i can do in 10 minutes:

  1. pick up the playroom (like put stuff away enough so that the housekeepers can actually, really clean it.

  2. load and unload the dishwasher (probably with time to spare on this one, which is shocking, given the number of dishes we seem to go through on a daily basis).

  3. clean the 2 cat boxes, plus replace litter and pee-pads underneath (he’s old and misses, well, a lot :/)

  4. fold Miss Girl’s laundry. literally, an entire basket of it. and this is probably my most-dreaded task!

  5. fold my laundry. i typically pile worn clothes over my hamper during the course of the week. some need to be washed, some don’t. in 10 minutes, i can pretty much sort through that pile so i can see into my closet!

  6. put away shoes. gaaaaahhh. the 3 people in this house wear so. many. shoes. Miss Girl’s can get into her closet and sorted. mine can get up off the closet floor into shoe racks. clear floor, clear mind. done!

  7. paperwork!! lord, even though i get most bills electronically, there still seems to be piles of paper around. bills, coupons, mailers, catalogs, magazines . . . 10 minutes in the middle of the week at least gets it all sorted/thrown out so i can easily pay random bills on the weekend.

  8. email. ugh. for both work and personal. 10 dedicated minutes at least gets those overstuffed inboxes sorted and filed to a point that i can see what still needs to be addressed and what i don’t need to bother with (1,000 Basecamp messages, i’m talkin’ to you!)

try it for 10 minutes. i promise, you’ll be surprised at what you can accomplish. and you’ll feel silly you wasted so much time just thinking about how much you didn’t want to do all this tedious crap!

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