There’s a lot that I’m interested in. I wish there was more time in the day, more time in life, for me to do, experience and read about it all! But alas, there is not. And therefore, I must prioritise and organise to be able to do many things, while also concentrating on the right things…
Anyway, this plethora of interests has led me to try to cram many things into my weeks again and again. And I’ve failed to do so, again and again. However, I think I have a new hack that could help me to get more done regularly.
If you have multiple interests, or you’re someone short on time and organisation, here are two habit hacks that might help you, too…
Just 10 Minutes
As the title suggests, my first hack is to be less restrictive and perfectionistic about the expectations of your to-dos.
As in, focus on getting them done, not how they’re done.
At the end of the day, isn’t it more important that you do the thing you want to do, than to do it perfectly? Seeking perfection leads to paralysis and procrastination. We shouldn’t get into the habit of rushing things or doing things poorly, of course, but not doing them at all isn’t good either.
It’s all about developing a habit by doing something regularly. Therefore, you actually have to do it!
Dedicating just 10 minutes to an activity or habit that you’re trying out will help you get closer to doing it routinely. I’ve found that once you go to do it for just 10 minutes, you often end up doing it for longer, anyway. It’s the starting out that’s hard, but when you know that it’s just 10 minutes – and what’s 10mins, really? – then it’s a lot harder to resist doing it.
Why not read for just 10 mins?
Why not write for just 10 mins?
Why not do some yoga for just 10 mins?
Why not work out or jog for just 10 mins?
Why not meditate, paint, blog, job search, call your mom, learn a language, do some research… for just 10 mins?
It’s hard to find excuses when it’s such a short period of time!
Of course, there’s an exception to every rule. If it’s something you want to do but it literally takes longer than 10 mins – like I want to watch anime again, which is 20-30min episodes – then you can still adopt a simple mindset like this one. ‘Just one episode‘ or something like that.
Or if you are exhausted or stressed out and you want a break and just can’t bring yourself to do it, then take a break! As long as you’re honest with yourself and you’re not being lazy, go for it.
It’s just about getting into a regular practice. Better to do just 10 mins than not do it at all.
My next hack is a good one, which is to lump habits or to-dos or activities together by similarity. This is called “batching” and it goes a long way towards the snowball effect of doing one thing that leads into another and so on…
So, I want to watch anime. I’ve batched it with writing my fantasy novel. I could watch an episode for inspiration for novel writing (and then write after), or use an episode as a “reward” after finishing my writing session.
Other batches I’ve done:
- Yoga + Meditation + Journaling
- Podcast + Blogging
- Washing on + Kitchen clean + Living Room vacced
- Learning from the reference books I have + Language learning
And again, you only have to do these things for 10 mins if you want to/can. When you have a random, long list of to-dos, it’s overwhelming and you put them off. However, if you batch to-dos together and dedicate a set day where you’d ideally do those things, it breaks them down into manageable chunks that seem easier.
Mondays are for yoga, which is linked with meditation and journaling… – SIMPLE!
Another tip is to decide on dedicated days for your tasks, but to also leave room for error. I’ve blocked in mine in the first few days of the week, so if anything is left incomplete, I still have time in my week to fit it in because I’ve left the second half of the week more open.
Make your habits easy for you! They’re supposed to be fun. You’re supposed to want to do them. So, make it simple, make it effective, make it regular, and just get them done.
Trial and error is okay. Move things around if they’re not working. Experiment with your time and your habits. It doesn’t mean they’ll never work.