The concept of the 10-Minute Rule first broke on The Muse, a site dedicated to job opportunities and career advice. The article discusses how a writer uses the timer on their phone to complete a task in ten minutes. If that doesn’t work, they suggest, it should be delegated to someone else or broken down further into smaller tasks. I decided to put this 10-Minute Rule to work myself before writing this blog to see how it works.
How often do you use the phrase “Give me ten minutes”? In reality, it’s just a saying used to appease people and assure them that whatever you are talking about will be quick and not eat up much of their time. Now, think about how long ten minutes actually is, all the things that could be accomplished in that time frame, and how that thinking could change the way you manage your time.
Make A List
I first made a list of things I wanted to accomplish. I thought that the most relatable thing on my list was cleaning. It was something I felt that I had the most control over and could realistically accomplish in ten minutes. I started with my bathroom. It’s not a big bathroom at all so I was very confident that this would be a breeze. I knew in advance that I didn’t have to clean the shower since that is something I do on a daily basis. All that was left from there was the floor, sink, and toilet to clean.
I set my timer and got down to work. It took me four whole minutes to sweep the floor of my so-called small bathroom. Although I knew I would still have to wash it. Then it was on to the toilet, sink, and washing the floor. All in all, it took me 18 minutes to clean my bathroom, which again is not very big.
Sticking to the 10-Minute Rule
On a positive note, I was able to clean my living room, sweep, wash the floors, dust, and tidy up loose things lying around in the ten-minute timeframe. I was able to clean the kitchen floor and sweep in about nine minutes. I was so pleased with this outcome because these tasks could sometimes take me an entire morning with little distractions from the kids. Normally, I would combine the floor cleaning of the kitchen and living room as one big room. However, using this method I was able to break the tasks down into smaller segments. Sticking to a timeframe really made me focus and work faster.
Reevaluate to Increase Productivity
After doing the much larger rooms with the 10-Minute Rule, I reevaluated how I could do the bathroom. My takeaway is to use different tools to help speed up my productivity in the bathroom. Before, I would clean the bathroom on my hands and knees including sweeping and washing. However, by using the Swiffer and steamer I will be able to cut that task by more than half which will definitely allow me to fit everything into the ten-minute timeframe.
When this article was written it was presented to the writer’s team and they had to figure out how they could use the ten-minute rule in their work life. When I first started reading I thought that it was impossible. But one of the best examples the article gave was in regards to reviewing a long report. It asked what you should do if you have a long report to review that no one could feasibly review in ten minutes? The answer was to spend only ten minutes on each page or split the review with a partner. This cuts the task down significantly.
This is a very doable concept that you can apply to your personal and professional life that will free up time, allow you to be more productive each day, and help you handle those dreaded tasks!
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