I have someone I want you to meet. My BFF + Creative Companion
Lately this has been my answer to how do I get things completed: 10 minutes at a time.
[Okay, you might be thinking, DUH KRISTA! Everything happens 1 minute at a time. Hear me out on this one ....]
Whether it’s been cleaning and tidying up around the house, working out, writing, painting or tackling a COLOSSAL and intimidating project, I'm listening for the chimes.
I’ve been hitting start on the timer so much lately that if it weren’t a digital button, the word “START” would probably be worn out by now.
10 minutes is enough time. It’s enough time to to check off some tasks from the list and accumulate a page worth of words. But it’s not SO overwhelming that I’m terrified to start altogether, like say an hour, which feels daunting ("you want me to do what for an hour?!").
That’s why the timer has been my partner in creativity lately. I sit down and commit to doing something and it rings it’s friendly chimes to say it’s been 10 minutes - “you did it”.
When it comes to creativity, this is how it’s helping me:
- I get to decide if I’ve done enough to stop or want to continue. The chimes give me a chance to check in and decide “do I need a break”, “do I need to switch tasks” or “am I finished here?”.
It’s a prompt to get focused again if I get distracted (scratch that WHEN I get distracted. It happens). Maybe I’ve picked up my phone and started scrolling Instagram or decided to text a friend or stare at Pinterest. The chimes will eventually go off and remind me it’s time to get back on track. And hey I’ll take 10 minutes down the rabbit hole versus an hour or two.
It’s about getting started. Instead of worrying about things like how am I going to write all the copy for my website, paint this canvas or tackle this list, I can focus on starting the task and I know that to begin I just have to do it for 10 minutes.
It ADDS up. It reminds me that we don’t need big chunks of uninterrupted time to create. Especially when you put together a string of 10 minute sessions in a day, week, month and year. The work, the words, they add up to A LOT.
Carving out the time. When it comes to my creative/just for the fun of it projects, I’m way less likely to blow them off and say “I’m too busy” when I know I’m setting the timer for 10 minutes. I know I always have 10 minutes to spare, so it eliminates my “too busy” excuse.
I DARE you to try the timer out. Maybe you set it for 5 minutes or 25. Whatever amount feels right to you. Whether you it's to give yourself some quiet time to paint or write or tackle that HUGELY terrifying project, give it a shot and hit START.
It’s a simple. Uncomplicated. AND a totally basic tool, BUT it works. Mostly because what the timer does best, is say GOOOO. It helps us get past the starting line. After that, we just need to worry about putting one foot in front of the other. We can let go of the FEAR that it's going to take forever. Because we just need to do it for the next 10 minutes at least.
When it comes to your creative process, what tools and timely tactics do you use to keep you focused and sooth your worries? Write back to me and share your favourite tip or trick!
On your mark, set, GOOOOO!!!!