When you are about to abandon a task because you've had enough of, or feel you aren't getting anywhere with, or are just bored then try applying the “5 Minute Rule.” Say to yourself I will stick at it for just 5 minutes more and then I can give up or take a break.
You can use the the 5-minute-more trick in the gym or when doing jobs in the house. I actually hear my lazy inner-self thinking up excellent reasons why I should abandon my endeavor, “You’ve had a long day,” “Mustn’t tire myself out for tomorrow,” “It’s too cold or hot or windy,” and, the most crafty one, “Shouldn’t you be doing another task altogether?”
At the worst you get 5 minutes of work done, and at the best you will have found a second wind, gotten focused and become productive. Of course, what you are aiming for is to move into “the zone” when suddenly work becomes effortless, the words just flow, the paperwork gets dealt with, you make that call you’ve been dreading, nothing seems a problem. Now, imagine if you hadn’t applied the five-minute trick. You might have never gotten there. You might have gone and switched the television on and watched a replay of the ball-game!
Additionally, it is important to remember the other 5-minute rule. We often want to give up a task after just 5 minutes! 5 minutes into writing an essay or starting a run that’s the danger time before we’ve warmed to the task. This is before we see any progress. Use the five-minute rule to help you through this discouraging phase.
Go on do five minutes more…