It can be hard to believe there are only 24 hours in a day. Some tick by like treacle, each second a drag and every task equally as cumbersome, while others zip by in a flash-bang-wallop of inspiration and creativity. For some business owners, reaching your productivity peak can take a few hours (and a LOT of coffee) but maintaining that output can feel like an Olympic endurance event. 

Luckily, we have a neat trick that can help you storm through your tasks, stay on track and maintain a happy work/life balance. It’s all about the 10-minute productivity rule, and there’s actual science behind it. 

By imposing a time limit on a task and forcing yourself to get started, you’re fooling your limbic system (the bit of your brain behind the fight-or-flight impulse which more often than not beats out the prefrontal cortex, where decisions are made) into NOT procrastinating. Let’s explore how… 

Sort it out

Breaking up the working day can be an art worthy of Leonardo da Vinci, but taking a cold hard look at what your in-tray holds before you dive in can be the difference between drowning in tasks or accomplishing them. 

First, roll up your sleeves and sort the bigger tasks from the smaller ones that can be done and dusted in 10 minutes or less. Then, take a closer look at those bigger tasks – can they be broken down into 10-minute tasks or can they be handed off, either to a colleague or a senior member of staff? Share the workload and watch that productivity soar. 

Tick, tock, tick, tock…

It’s all very well giving yourself 10 minutes to do something, but you also have to stick to it. So, set the timer on your smartphone, alarm clock or watch. If you run over time, it’s not the end of the world. Try to objectively assess why a task took longer and use it as a goal to work more efficiently next time. 

Tracking how long work takes and identifying where time is wasted during the day (who doesn’t love a quick natter about last night’s soaps?) can quickly help tighten productivity, whether you’re working alone or in a group. 

Get into good habits

You might have to talk yourself into trying – and sticking with – the 10-minute rule to start with, but once you see the improvements in output chances are it will become a part of your working routine without you even realising it. 

The 10-minute rule could help you go from dreading your working day to feeling energised and positive, ready to get your teeth into the next challenge. Who knows, you might even switch to a five or even a two-minute rule… 

Want to know more about how we can help you manage your busy schedule?  Virtual Assistant Whiz offers vital admin support on an ad-hoc or regular basis.  Contact us at info@virtualassistantwhiz.co.uk to get started.

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