Just 10 More Minutes

clock medium sizedIt’s really easy to say to oneself, at quitting time (or bed time), “I’ll just do this one last thing…just 10 more minutes.”  But it – whatever it is — never actually takes only 10 more minutes, does it? Sometimes it takes 15 minutes, or 37 minutes, or 2.5 more hours. And even then, usually, you’re still not completely finished…are you?

Here are 3 ways that just 10 more minutes can affect your life, and what you can do about it:

  1. Just 10 more minutes can make you late for an appointment. We “can’t help it” if we have so many things to do, and so many ideas that we can hardly tear ourselves away from them…can we? But how rude and inconsiderate it is of other people’s time. If you are chronically late, try this: When you START thinking “I’ll just do this one last thing…just 10 more minutes,” it is time to STOP. Jot down on a notepad, which you keep handy for this purpose, whatever it was you were doing or thinking so that when you return to your computer, or to your home or office, you won’t forget where you were and what you wanted to do next. Then GO get ready and leave for the appointment. Better yet, leave EARLY and take something with you to do once you get there.
  2. Maybe just 10 more minutes infringes on an appointment with YOURSELF. It’s easy to push aside important-but-not-urgent activities such as sleep, exercise, planning, study, projects, relaxing, hobbies, and self-care. The solution is the same as #1: Jot down on a notepad, which you keep handy for this purpose, whatever it was you were doing or thinking so that when you return to your task you won’t forget where you were and what you wanted to do next. Then move on to your next activity. What, you don’t make appointments with yourself? Why not?
  3. If you are self-employed, you probably don’t even have an official quitting time. It’s important to know when your quitting time will be for the day so that you can spend the last 15 minutes preparing yourself for the next day. Set an alarm to remind you to wrap it up if you need to. Tidy your desk and make a short list of the most important things you need to accomplish tomorrow. Review and re-focus on your short-term goals for a moment. That way you can go have dinner, spend time with your family, or do something else to relax your body, mind, and spirit before starting again refreshed in the morning.

How do I know these tips work? Because I have these same issues myself. And the solutions work for me…when I do them. What works for YOU?

Copyright 2013 by Hazel Thornton, Organized For Life.
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  1. Moreen Torpy on April 9, 2013 at 11:58 am

    I like the way you say just 10 more minutes. So often I check the clock on my computer and note that I have plenty of time to finish up and get to an appointment or another commitment. Then the next I realize is that I’m running very late.

    Can it be focusing on the task, poor time management, lack of understanding of how fast time flies? Any or all of these are probably guilty.

    So, I need to take your advice and when I see that I have lots of time before something else, just stop what I’m doing and get into gear for the other thing. Self-discipline, here I come (I hope)!

    • Hazel Thornton on April 10, 2013 at 9:13 am

      Thanks for your comments, Moreen! I think good (or bad) time management involves all of the above. I use alarms to break my focus on what I’m doing. And an analog clock (you know, with hands) in the bathroom to help me “see” the passage of time when I’m getting ready. Have you tried an analog clock next to your computer (or analog widget on your desktop)? Or maybe Time Timer? (http://www.timetimer.com/)

      • Moreen Torpy on April 10, 2013 at 9:33 am

        Oh yes, I’m familiar with those old fashioned clocks with hands, and keep one in my bathroom as well for the same reasons as you!

        I’ll look into the widget for my desktop, but I also think I need some kind of alarm system to audibly remind me that it’s time to get a move on. Maybe an egg timer or the like. 🙂

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