[fr] Utiliser une minuterie pour avancer dans des tâches difficiles fonctionne car cela nous recentre sur le processus, alors que nous sommes en général paralysés par le résultat. Il ne s'agit pas de finir, d'avoir fait, mais de faire.
FlyLady coaches you to unclutter and clean your flat, 15 minutes at a time. It works, because 15 minutes is a short enough amount of time that anybody can afford to take 15 minutes off to do something important, but it’s also long enough that you can actually get stuff done during that time.
There is another reason, though. Many people stuck in the procrastination gut (myself included, pleading guilty) suffer from what I’d like to call goal paralysis. What’s important is the result. Have it done, finished, over with. Produce something visible. We all know we’re in an excessively result-driven culture. And we’re losing the process… in the process.
We lose sight of the pleasure we can have to just do things. Or, even if we don’t derive pleasure from doing them… we forget about doing them, and focus only on having done them. But the first step out of procrastination is doing, not having done.
The timer puts you back in the process. It’s not about finishing in 15 minutes, it’s actually not about finishing at all, it’s about doing some of it.
The timer also works because it has an end. It chimes. When you’re done, you’re done. Many people who have trouble getting started also have trouble stopping once they do get started. It’s the two faces of the same coin: if you know you’ll get sucked up in whatever you start doing, lose yourself in it, isn’t it smart to not start? It is. With the timer, you have a protection about that too.
The only problem is now to become “unstuck” enough to reach for that timer…
- My Journey Out of Procrastination: Perfectionism, Starting, and Stopping [en] (2009)
- My Journey Out of Procrastination: Getting Thrown Off and Getting Unstuck [en] (2010)
- My Journey Out of Procrastination: Not Running (Firewalls and iPhone Alarms) [en] (2010)
- My Journey Out of Procrastination: Doing Things Now [en] (2010)
- My Journey Out of Procrastination: Five Principles [en] (2009)
- Structured vs. Freeform Work [en] (2011)
- The Importance of Being Active [en] (2019)
- Inbox to Zero in no Time [en] (2008)
- The Blog of Unfinished [en] (2013)
- Taming the Dishes, 2021 Version [en] (2021)
5 thoughts on “Why the Fifteen-Minute Timer Dash Works [en]”
Addendum: it can also help a lot to combine this technique with buddy working.
And if you’re chatting with a procrastinating friend… suggest they try a 15-minute timer dash, and be there for them when they’ve done it, to say bravo!