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When I came back, I told you I was going to share with you the secrets I’ve used to completely reshape my life from the ground up. I’m currently compiling those lessons into an upcoming product called God Mode: Enabled. Keep your eyes out in the near future for more info! In the meantime, here’s a small selection from the eBook portion of the product:
Ten seconds. How long is that? One sixth of the time you should spend brushing your teeth. Less time than it takes to make popcorn in the microwave. The average loading time for a game on your phone (depending on what kind of phone you have.) It’s not much, right?
It’s also the amount of time it takes to kill procrastination dead.
Procrastination is a prevalent problem in society, and has been for about as long as anyone can remember. Putting off stuff we don’t want to do is a basic part of the human condition. Hell, even very productive and high-achieving people procrastinate! You know what the difference between them and the rest of humanity is?
They do it less, and they know how to kill procrastination when they need to.
Killing procrastination was one of the best things I learned how to do in my time away, and that’s what we’re going to talk about today. Procrastination is the death of all progress, the death of all forward momentum, and the eventual death of your legacy. If we put off things that don’t immediately reward us, or things that are distasteful, or things that are difficult, then we deny forward progress. We give into fear, anxiety, and apathy, and take the easy road out. Oddly enough, that usually gives us more to worry about in the long run, as responsibilities and missed opportunities stack up around us.
You probably know how this feels. In fact, you definitely know how this feels, everyone does. We all start out as procrastinators in one way or another. Some people are taught the tools to deal with procrastination when they are young, and have a ready-made arsenal for dealing with it. Others are not, and have to develop weapons against the procrastination monster themselves.
Ten superhuman seconds happens to be one of my favorites. In fact, it’s the exact technique I use when I start producing anything, including this blog post! Think of it as you Sword of +10 Procrastination Slaying. Dungeons and dragons references aside, this trick will have you rolling natural twenties in your life in no time (haha, got another one in there!)
As we already talked about at the beginning of this article, ten seconds isn’t much time at all. Very often when we procrastinate about something the first thing we think about is how much time it’s going to take.
“Awww man, I don’t want to do the dishes, that’ll take like half an hour!”
“Blegh, taxes? That’s like, half my day, gone.”
“That term paper needs to be over thirty pages! Even if I start now, it’ll be a week and a half before I’m finished!”
We’ve all had these thoughts before. Sometimes we’re able to knuckle down and get to work anyway, but usually only once a deadline is looming in our faces. Very often, the hardest thing to do in overcoming procrastination is the beginning of the task.
That’s where the ten superhuman seconds come in. Here’s how it works: First, you assemble the tools you need to complete your task. Load up your Auto CAD program, load up your Word document, or grab the dish soap and the sponge. Now, make a promise to yourself. Take a deep breath, and say (out loud, if there’s no one around to make you feel awkward about it,)
I am going to give this ten seconds. That’s all I’m commiting to.
Then, follow through! What’s ten seconds, anyway? It probably took you longer just to get out of bed this morning. It would take you longer to turn on a game console and get your game loaded up. Ten seconds is nothing. Here’s the final trick: Do not set a timer for yourself. Having a clock nearby is fine, but don’t have anything that will tell you, “Ding! Your time is up!” Do whatever it is you were going to do for what feels like ten seconds.
After you think you’ve spent ten seconds of your time, look at your clock for verification. If it has indeed been ten seconds, then BOOM! You’re free to go! No big deal, you got one glass cleaned, you threw down the first sentence of your thesis statement, your name is filled in on the tax form, or you drew up one shape in your modeling program. You can walk away right now if you want to. You’ve kept your promise to yourself, and you should congratulate yourself (again, out loud if it isn’t awkward,) for doing what you set out to do.
Of course, you could give yourself another ten seconds. I mean, it wouldn’t hurt, right? Even that extra ten seconds would still be less time than it takes for you to go pour yourself a glass of water. You can even say to yourself, “Okay, but this is the last ten seconds, then I’m going to play a game.” Fine! Again, commit yourself to ten superhuman seconds. There. Another sentence, done. One more dish, washed. Way to go, you!!
Now that you’ve well and thoroughly tricked yourself into 20 straight seconds of work, it’s definitely time to stop. Right? Wellll…would one more ten second interval hurt? Really? What’s thirty seconds out of your day, if we’re really thinking about it? Basically nothing, right? One more interval isn’t going to kill you. Again, promise yourself out loud, “I will do ten more seconds of work on this task.” Then, work for what feels like another ten seconds, take a look at your clock when you’re done to double check, and then call it quits.
Or maybe, just another ten…
You see where I’m going with this? Starting with a simple ten seconds can create an instant positive feedback loop. The important thing is to congratulate yourself and really feel good about completing those ten seconds. That good feeling is genuine, too, because you’ve already gotten more done on the task than you would have if you had kept procrastinating. Heck, these ten little superhuman seconds can actually be enough to get quite a bit done, depending on the task!
Even if you call it quits after three ten second intervals, you’ve probably already gotten a fair amount done when it comes to some tasks. I can definitely load three or four dishes into the dishwasher in that time. If you take thirty seconds a couple times a day, you will never have dishes in your sink for more than an hour or two (even better if you take those three ten-second intervals right when you bring the dishes back to the sink!)
Now, granted, for some tasks, ten seconds is not quite enough to make ANY measurable progress. They can trick you into starting, though, which is sometimes enough! In the event that it’s not, then you’re going to need another timing technique that we’ll be covering in the next post. A technique I like to call The Three Minute Mosey. If you want to see that post NOW, go register on the forum (it’s free) and check it out in the Members Only section!
That’s it for today! Again, this is a small snapshot from my upcoming BIG PROJECT titled “God Mode: Enabled.” This one’s going to be a doozy, folks, I hope you’re ready for it.
Until next time, remember to live boldly, change the world, and continue to be awesome!
Dan “DaRatmastah” Wallace