What Can You Do In Two? One Tip to Kick Start Your Productivity
I have what you might call a passion for being productive. It LOVE getting things done. I love crossing items off my to-do list. I thrive there. I dwell there. Some of my best days (in my head) are when I get the most done.
I need deadlines, too though. So for the last ten years as a stay-at-home mom, I have loved having piano lessons sprinkled through my schedule, and then in the last few years teaching choir in the afternoons. Those rocks in the day have helped me be more productive. I would always make sure I had dinner in the crock-pot before leaving in the afternoon or I’d make sure I got that load of laundry in the wash before I started the piano lesson. It caused me to work harder.
In the last couple of years I have seen one of my children get highly overwhelmed to the point of tears on several occasions with the thought of doing something as mundane as putting his clothes away (I’m using the generic “he” to protect the innocent:). And the thing is, putting those clothes away might take a max of five minutes. FIVE minutes that’s all. And honestly most times it would take two or three minutes. And when those clothes aren’t put away, they grow and multiple. It’s just crazy.
Anyway, since he would get so overwhelmed, I started asking him something that I think may help all of us kick start ourselves into productivity.
My one quick tip to kick starting your productivity doesn’t take long at all. It might mean mustering up the drive to get off the ole’ couch. Or it might mean pulling yourself away from the Internet for awhile. Or both.
Wanna know what the trick is? Well, I started asking him, “What can you do in two minutes?” You see, anyone can do something for just two minutes. Two minutes is bite-sized. Two minutes isn’t overwhelming. Two minutes for a six-year-old or ninetysix-year-old isn’t too much. It’s enough to get them started.
So I’ve set that timer and let him go to town for just two minutes. At the end of two minutes, he can be done. It’s just a means of getting started. Because honestly, I think we all know that that’s the toughest part. If we can just get ourselves started, we are well on our way to being productive. And the beauty is, if we can just get started, two minutes often turns into ten minutes…easily. That’s what I tell my piano students, too. Just sit down and get started.
And I like asking “what you can do in two?” cuz it’s kinda catchy. I have to ask myself this often when I am putting away the whites. I wash whites once a week, and it’s minutia…over, and over, and over again. It’s all of those socks, putting them together. Sometimes I feel like it’s NEVER. GOING. TO. END. I’m one of those people who sits in my laundry room on the floor and folds right then and there so everything gets put away neatly and nicely. So I’ll tell myself, I can just give it two minutes and come back later, because I can always find something else to do. Sometimes I have this self-talk when I have to empty the dishwasher, too. If I do these tasks incrementally, somehow it’s not as overwhelming. When I come back to them, I now magically have less to do. Sometimes I even go back and forth between the dishwasher and dryer. Crazy…I know. And honestly, once I get started, I often just put my nose to the grindstone, and get it done.
“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” Ephesians 5:15-17 ESV
“For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies.” 2 Thessalonians 3:11 ESV
How do you motivate yourself to get things done you might not want to do? What ways do you kick start your productivity?
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