One problem I often face is starting a task.
It’s easy for me to look at certain items on my to-do list and choose to avoid them because I think they will be complex, annoying, or simply something that I don’t really want to do. Rather than accomplish them, I worry about how much time they are going to drain while they continue to sit there and sit there with no progress made. I roll them over from one to-do list to the next, still dreading them each week.
What’s interesting though is that when the deadlines for one of these tasks is approaching, I often find that the task in itself ends up take substantially less time than I expected. I’ve had items sit on my to-do list for weeks that took less than 30 minutes to complete once I finally started on them.
Why do I continue to act this way, even when I know better? Well, like many folks, I am facing some form of mental barrier to starting these tasks, because I have built them up in my mind to appear more challenging or time consuming than they actually are.
A business coach of mine taught me her secret, which she called the 2-minute miracle. If you are like me and have trouble starting on certain tasks, give this a try:
The 2-minute miracle is when you set your timer for two minutes and you tell yourself: “Okay, I’m going to work on this project for two minutes. Anyone can work on a project for two minutes. At the end of the two minutes, if I don’t want to work on it anymore then I’ll be done.”
That’s it! It’s incredibly simple and easy to use.
Surprisingly, what I usually find is that after those initial two minutes of working on something, I want to keep working on it. I’ll often set the timer for another 15 minutes to see if I can complete it in that amount time. Usually I can.
This isn’t substantially different from what authors call “writer’s block,” which is what occurs when they don’t want to start writing. Successful authors often prescribe the medicine of just writing one page about anything each day. This process of starting to write, even if it’s unrelated to your book, removes the barrier of starting.
If this is you, implement this tip in your business, teach it to your employees and watch your efficiencies go through the roof.