How to do anything well
September 14, 2011 1 Comment
I’m working on a post that is taking more time than I want and should be an opinion piece in the local paper, but I digress. Through doing that and other things that interest me, I’ve been reading a book entitled, “Writing Better Lyrics.” And there, in chapter one is probably the best advise for doing anything well – and that advise is written like this; TEN and ONLY TEN minutes.
The chapter talks about how to rejuvenate the writer in each of us and the inevitable roadblocks that occur. The key is to set aside a specific time and set a timer. When the timer goes off, stop the activity completely and move on to your next task. Two things come to mind – discipline and discipline. Didn’t we get enough correction from our parents about doing our homework BEFORE going outside to play? And yes, you may also be thinking about your topic all day. But the next time you sit down, you’ve primed the pump. And just like getting a pump primed, you’ll find yourself completing your thoughts before the timer is done!
I realize that not everyone is a writer, but there are aspects of our lives that could use some of this discipline, like limiting email reading to a specific time slot or making phone calls, you name it. Now 10 minutes may not be the best length to address the discipline aspect, but do be realistic. Cutting things shorter often builds the anticipation for the next time and you’ll just be excited, even happy to answer all those emails!