I’m doing an experiment with short bursts of time.
I’m writing this blog post using a timer set for 25 minutes and no more.
When it buzzes, it buzzes. I will lift up my hands like the contestants on “Chopped” and step away from my keyboard.
No cheating. No sneaking back five minutes later and adding another sentence or editing the thing.
I’m doing this to prove to myself that it is possible to accomplish important tasks (e.g. writing a new blog post regularly) in a short amount of time.
And by holding myself accountable to a set time frame, I will actually get more done than when I allow half the day to go by as I him and haw over an idea.
I think I will discover that we don’t need to agonize for hours or days over something before shipping it (to use Seth Godin’s vernacular).
I Have No Time Is Merely a Way of Saying It’s Not Important to Me
One of the biggest excuses I have heard throughout my professional life is:
“I have no time for…”
I’ve even heard those words coming out of my mouth.
The truth is, there’s always time and we certainly do have it for the things that matter to us.
Writing a post on my blog matters to me, so I make time to do it.
Watching several hours of crappy television every night isn’t important to me, so I don’t do it.
We make time for what we love. That’s the truth. Anything else is an excuse.
How Are Americans Spending Time?
If we are all so busy all the time, what exactly are we doing? And can we change?
This infographic provides some insight into how Americans spend time. While it’s fairly broad categorically speaking, it does show some interesting trends:
This is interesting because according to the infographic, women and men have close to the same amount of time each day for “Leisure and Sports.” What “Leisure and Sports” constitutes I can’t tell from the graphic, but that’s a good chunk of time for sure.
When those 3 hours are broken down into 25 minute short bursts of time, a person can achieve close to 7 tasks that could mean something someday, like writing a book or building a side business or pursuing a couple of hobbies that have been on a bucket list like learning to play the piano or making a quilt.
Seeing time through shorts bursts and then testing what we can actually do is fascinating. As I type this sentence, I still have 5 minutes left of my allotment. I still need to hit publish and I do want to read over what I’ve written at least once, but as I near the finish line in this little experiment of getting something done in short bursts of time that actually matters to me, I can see how much possibility exists in setting a timer and holding myself to it.
I can see how much MORE time approaching tasks this way will free up for me to do other things I want to do.
Like take a nap. Or read.
Or simply gaze out the window and think for a bit.
Yes, I can see now that getting more done in less time is not only possible, but really smart.