Ten Minute Method

Months ago, I found that I was very productive. I would knock things off of all sorts of lists and get so much accomplished it was scary.

For a month or two, I’ve been coasting. I started tracking my lists again, and I’ve seen an immediate improvement. But for larger projects, I find they will stay on my lists for a long time.

While it is an old post, The Ten-Minute Method at the not-often-updated NinjaBee Dance blog is exactly what I needed. It is basically a variation on an idea that I’ve read elsewhere: time boxing.

The Ten Minute Method is this:

Work on the project every day, even if it’s only for 10 minutes. Every single day, no matter what, but you only need to commit to 10 minutes. You can always find 10 minutes, right? Maybe just before you go to bed, or just before you plunk down in front of the television.

The actual work you do can be anything. If you’re working on art, just sketch something. Clean something up. Go looking for reference. If you’re programming, just look through code for a while. Read some documentation. Comment old modules. Make lists of things to do later. Easy stuff, right?

Sure, it’s easy! I think it is sometimes easier to make an excuse than to do real work. “I can’t write code. I’m not at my desk, and I don’t have an hour to dedicate.” “I don’t have the time to write up a prototype.” “Blah blah time blah blah resources blah blah.”

Again, I’ve heard of time boxing before. I’ve even found it useful. But I can sometimes forget useful tools and have to be reminded. I just have to find a way to make sure I remember this technique. 10 minutes a day isn’t too much to ask, and I know I can dedicate it. I just have to remember to do so.

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