The Stopwatch Hack

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I discovered one trick today that is going to change my days… and my life!! From here on out (at the risk of sounding like one of those cool mom bloggers) I will call it the Stopwatch Hack.

I recently listened to an interview on “Doing the hard thing”, and I couldn’t agree more.  But today I realized that sometimes I never get to the hard thing because I don’t get the easy thing done first.

We all have something on our “to do” list that we hate doing and avoid like the plague.  Its not the thing that’s super difficult like the term paper, the big job, or teaching our kid to read.  

It’s the easy thing.  Probably the mundane.  It’s taking the trash out, answering that email, turning in that minor assignment.

It’s the easy things that get me stuck.  Staring at those little things as they pile up, completely incapacitated to accomplish the big thing that matters!

I have two writing projects hanging out in my head like a big ol’ elephant.  I can’t talk about them till I make sense of them and get an outline down.  But you know what’s keeping me from them? House work.

It’s that darned dishwasher! I walk in from all of my meaningful, exciting life activities and sitting in the sink is this massive pile of dishes because… the dishwasher needs to be emptied first!  I walk by the sink thousands of times because as easy as it would be to rinse and throw in the dishes, I can’t because there are clean ones still sitting in the machine!

So today while I was fuming at myself over avoiding the dishes I had genius idea. Literally… for the competitive ones out there who like a challenge, this is going to blow your mind.

I looked at that dishwasher of clean dishes and thought, “I wonder how long this would actually take me?”  I set my phone’s stopwatch on, and I went to work.  Throwing dishes and pans and silverware in designated drawers, cupboards and bins.

Finished, I looked at my timer and it had taken me 4 minutes and 14 seconds.  LOL!

4 Minutes that I’d been avoiding for days!!

I had been hand-washing dishes to avoid emptying the clean dishwasher.

It was such a shock that I decided– just for the fun of it– to see how long it would take to clean up all the dishes waiting in the sink? Why not?  And then I cleaned off the counter, took out the trash, and threw in some laundry!

15 minutes later I was still marveling at the 4 minutes it took me to empty the dishwasher, so that I can get to that task of writing and creating.  Wow.

So that’s my fun little tidbit today.  Conquering household work in order to conquer the world, one easy task at a time.

And that’s the key.  Just one.  One easy thing at a time.

So that when the Hard Thing comes, you’re ready for it.


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