I offer a simple solution: Make intentional ten-minute efforts every day.
This idea was born out of necessity in my life. During a recent summer, I was still in the labor-intensive phase of raising my young son. I longed to put in a flower garden, but as a single parent with neither partner nor family nearby, time for such endeavors did not exist. Still, I wanted that garden.
Something had happened: I was back in the flow of possibility. Step by step, flower by flower, and day by day, I created a garden that knocked me out with its beauty. I never spent more than ten minutes on it, because I never had more than ten minutes. Nonetheless, its magnificence was the single most sustaining element of my world that summer. Every day, its beauty soothed and inspired me. I would look down on it from the window above and feel proud, accomplished, and . . . sane.
Not only was the garden itself incredible, but every time I looked at it, I was reminded that I could make things happen, even with very small amounts of time. The flowers became my cheering squad, encouraging me to remember this new blueprint for action. I no longer felt at the mercy of my situation, and the joy I experienced inspired me to apply the technique to other corners of my life. It was a quiet, daily revolution.
And what I learned was this:
Ten Minutes a Day is
Seventy Minutes a Week,
Two Hundred Eighty Minutes a Month,
and Sixty Hours a Year.
Let me say that again. Ten Minutes a Day is Sixty Hours a Year.
Imagine spending sixty hours this year pursuing the experience you have dreamt of for so long, but never felt you had the time for.
Imagine spending sixty hours this year conquering the tasks that you constantly avoid.
Imagine spending sixty hours this year learning a new language, doing yoga, writing a novel, practicing an instrument, singing, growing your own food, or finally, finally cleaning out that cruddy basement or reorganizing those closets. Then, imagine what else you might be doing, having accomplished all of that.
Try inviting your life forward with this mode of action. Take ten minutes right now and write down three things you long to do but think you don’t have time for. Then choose something from the list and dive in.
For Ten Minutes.
For Seven Days.
After a week, check in with yourself. I guarantee you will find yourself in a new swing of activity. Something will have shifted. You will be gently mobilized in a way that makes continuing feel like a breeze.
You will have made something happen and learned you can make it happen. In ten minutes a day.
~ Laurie McLeod (writing as Lorne Holden) is an award-winning artist and author living in the Berkshires. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org and order her book through www.makeithappenintenminutesaday.com