This 10 minute trick could increase your productivity substantially

What I am about to tell you is nothing new. It is something I read some years ago and you probably did too. But I was so pleased to read it again recently as it reminded me of a really useful trick for overcoming procrastination and getting unpleasant tasks done. So I thought I would write about it too and hope that the reader is as pleased as I was to be reminded of this little trick.

As small business owners, time is always precious to us and we all try and clear as much work as possible. But there are always those awkward niggly tasks which we put off endlessly. The more we put them off, the more they nag us in the back of our minds and the more we dread finally doing them. We know that once we have finished the task, we will feel pleased with ourselves and extremely satisfied with a job well done. However, this is often not enough of an incentive to get off our backsides and actually start the task. So what to do?

Commit that you will spend just 10 minutes on that activity

The idea is to commit yourself to spending just 10 minutes on that awkward activity. This should be easy to commit to as it is such a short space of time.

Sometimes, 10 minutes is all you will spend on it and as that is all that you have committed to, then that is fine. You can be happy that you have met your objective. Happily however, you will often find that once started, you end up spending far longer completing the task. Once you get over the dread it is often much easier than you thought. Once you get into the habit you will find that you get through all your tasks much more efficiently.

In my view, the big bonus is not in completing the task in itself but in removing that nagging pressure from the back of your mind that you still have that thing to do.

Combine it with the frog eating trick 

There is another psychological trick in getting through dreaded tasks and it is to start the day by "eating a frog". Of course I don't mean to literally eat a frog (health & safety made me put that bit in) but it is a good comparison to doing a task you do not like. The task is about as pleasant as eating a frog.

The idea is that if you have to do this task, then always get one done as the first thing you do that day. If the task is one which you dread then get it done at the beginning of the day and you won't spend the rest of the day dreading it. If necessary, commit to 10 minutes only at the beginning of the day making doubly sure you get these things done.

So the next time you find yourself dreading the completion of a task, why not say to yourself "OK, I'll just spend 10 minutes doing it" and you might be surprised by the results once the amphibian has been consumed!

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