Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Just five minutes

Do you ever find yourself stuck with a task that you just do not want to do? The thing sits there, festering away, undone and mocking you for your procrastination!

The folks at AE (Asian Efficiency) recently mentioned a nice strategy that my kids and I have used for years: the five minute rule. Pick your most dreaded task (for example, folding laundry) and determine that you will do that for no more than five minutes. Set a timer for five minutes and then do that dreaded task until the timer goes off. At the very least you would have made some serious progress on that to-do; and most times you know you are so much closer to finishing it that you just keep going.

The trick is to just get started!

We have used this idea for cleaning our house, doing dishes, etc. Try making it fun by doing a 5-minute relay game: one person starts and does the task for just five minutes, then the next person takes over for five minutes, etc. Great team work and a nice way to share the load.

Some tasks may need a 10-minute lapse instead of just five. The nice thing is that you (and your team) can set the work time to whatever you want. The important thing is to get started and make as much progress as possible.

And this idea lends itself nicely for competitions. For example, who can clean the most windows in five minutes? The winner gets a reward. :-)

In the end, what is important is that progress is made, even if it is in five-minute chunks.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Reading faster and more efficiently

It is not all about speed now, is it? The lure of speed reading is not only to read faster but to also increase our understanding of the material. Here is a nice article on how to improve our reading efficiency: Systematically Skim Books to Learn Better