What does it take to make an Olympian? Turns out that it’s just ten minutes. Well of course it isn’t only ten minutes, but a lesson that I learned from Olympic Gold Medallist Ben Hunt-Davis, is that in just ten minutes you can do something pretty transformational.
He acknowledges that, in all of our lives, there are things that we put off. Things we don’t do but know we should do. Actions left unattended to, projects not started, bad habits not addressed. Why is this? Sometimes we think it’s too hard, believe it’s too boring and sometimes we’re too frightened.
Our procrastination paralyses us, and nothing gets done. The solution is beautifully simple: spend ten minutes just getting on with the thing you’ve been putting off and then asking yourself whether it was important to do. No delay, no procrastination, just doing it (or ‘JDI’ as Nicholas Bate would put it). Whether it’s whipping off the duvet first thing in the morning and immediately getting into your running gear or making your first call of the day the one you’d least like to make, taking the approach of doing something from a position of being ‘consciously incompetent’ makes us more likely to make progress, more able to perform and more likely to succeed. From this position you can achieve a state of flow – even if the start is not dissimilar to whipping off a plaster!
So I would urge you to give it a try, tell you what – why not do it right now? Stop reading this blog and start doing the thing you’ve been putting off – just for ten minutes….