The Ten Minute Rule
For those times when you really don't know what to do.
I have a rule I like to call The Ten Minute Rule. I had thought I wrote about it already, but I didn't, or at least I don't remember doing it.
So many times we look back, and in retrospect we can see where and when our mistake was made. Due to that mistake there was a domino effect. The movie "The Butterfly Effect" was based on the principle that if you could go back in time and change a single event, you would change the future in astronomical ways. So this is part of my Ten Minute Rule.
I read a book that said anything could be accomplished in just ten minutes a day, and that became a part of my Ten Minute Rule. And, when I was young, I read a lesson by Harry Lorraine, which stated that any habit could be broken by a ten minute delay, and that became part of the Ten Minute Rule.
This is for my Friend
I promised to write this before, and I didn't get around to it. Today a friend had such a hard day that she wanted to quit her job. This is for her. I wish I'd written it sooner, because I would have given it to her right away, but maybe it needed this immediacy to be written and be effective.
The worlds problems could literally be solved in ten minutes, if all of us obeyed the Ten Minute Rule in every aspect of our lives. It involves taking a step back from the situation you are in, and making a conscious decision after ten minutes has transpired.
In the Tracy Chapman song "Give Me One Reason" she is asking someone to give her a single reason to stay. I imagine that if my friend had said those words to her boss there would have been a singular outcome. Any supervisor with any intelligence whatsoever could give her that reason "Because you are important to this firm." "Because you make a difference here, that you wouldn't make anywhere else." or simply "Because you belong here."
How many times in your life have you been given an ultimatum, or given someone that ultimatum, and in a split second wished the situation hadn't escalated to that point.
Conscious decision making is what separates us from the lower life forms on the planet. Some animals actually wake up, put food in their mouth, and fall asleep while they are chewing it. Some will kill reflexively, because that is how they are "wired". Some animals will stalk anything that moves, even if what they are stalking is not good for food. It's in their nature. If you throw a ball or a stick, the dog will chase it. It's in his nature.
Humans do not do that. We think, plot and plan. Sometimes we plan when we don't even know we're doing it. So how is it that we are killing each other, running our economy into the ground, living far outside of our means. Why are we unable to maintain our relationships, how can we become addicted to things that are bad for us? What were we thinking?
That's where the Ten Minute Rule comes in. See, we weren't thinking. We are reacting.
If I yell at you, you yell back. What if you take ten minutes. How about, if I yell at you, you say, "Hey, I know you're upset, how about we both take ten minutes and cool off before we both say things we don't mean."
Call it a time out. When we were children we were given time outs when our temperament didn't match that of our elders. Think of it like that, take a time out.
Applications of the Ten Minute Rule, and Variations
Teach your children the ten minute rule, by telling them to take ten minutes, rather than calling it a time out. Hopefully, when they are about to make a decision that could have repercussions, they will remember to use The Ten Minute Rule.
Try it. When you get a call from a bill collector, and you don't have the money to pay, don't get upset, say "Look, this is really out of the blue, can you call me back in say, ten minutes?" One of two things will happen, either they will, or they'll give you their number to call them back.
When your child (or spouse) has really gotten on your last nerve, instead of flying into a rage say "Honey, can you give me ten minutes alone to gather myself?"
When your boss (or teacher) wants to know if you completed that assignment, and you haven't, say "Can you just give me ten minutes to pull the loose ends together?"
Once you have asked for the ten minutes, use them to the best advantage for your personal situation. Calm down, finish that essay, print out some research for the report you forgot to write. You don't have to lie, fight, or freak out here. Sometimes you are put under pressure, because the other person in the conversation is also under pressure.
When you take ten minutes you are giving them ten minutes as well.
For a person who works forty or more hours per week, then goes home taking on all of their responsibilities, ten minutes a day to give yourself a break is not going to hurt anyone, or anything.
Applications of the Ten Minute Rule
Temptation: You are on a date and things are looking pretty good for taking this to the "next level" but you aren't sure. Take Ten Minutes.
You're on a diet and that chocolate cake looks really good, Take Ten Minutes. If you still want the cake, take one bite, and savor it, then wait ten more minutes. One bite may be enough.
You've quit smoking, but someone just walked by and that cigarette smelled really good, and you are under stress... Wait Ten Minutes.
You are having a real fight with someone you love, and you just want to prove that you're right, and they are wrong... It's someone you love, back up, tell them "I love you, I need to take ten minutes."
You're an alcoholic, and you want that drink! Take ten minutes, talk to somebody else, but do it for ten minutes.
You forgot to take your pill, and you know that if you have sex you're going to get pregnant, that's just the kind of luck you have, right? Take ten minutes, really think about it.
Getting things done in Ten Minutes
If you take ten minutes each day and exercise, you will get in better shape. If you write for ten minutes each day, you will write a book. If you sing for ten minutes a day, you will become a better singer. If you read for ten minutes a day, you can learn anything.
If you paint for ten minutes a day, you will paint a picture, or your house, depending on what kind of painting you're doing.
If you meditate for ten minutes a day, you will be more relaxed. The possibilities here are absolutely endless.
If you study your Keyword research and SEO for ten minutes a day, you will learn it, understand it, and then you can spend ten minutes each day doing it. If you spend ten minutes each day promoting yourself on line, you will become successful on line.
Life is made up of moments. Moments become minutes, and taking ten of those minutes to make conscious decisions will affect your life, and the lives of those around you.
When you have seen the pleasant turns your life has taken, that your bad habits are broken, and good habits formed, you stress is lowered, and you're in better shape, and you see others noticing too, you'll become addicted to these "Ten Minute" intervals.
Someday, someone will ask you how you achieved all that you have, and you can tell them, I just broke it down into sections, of ten minutes each. Maybe they'll try that too. That could change the world.