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9/3/11 4:00 A

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5 Minutes
When our kids were young, we often did a "quick five minute clean-up." Because there were so many kids in a small house, they often assumed they could get away with doing very little (yes, even less than a whopping five minutes of work!). You know what I'd do? I'd start the time over. EVERYONE had to pay for that.

A year into it, I realized they didn't really understand the concept (they were ages 4-13 at the time). By having each one, separately, set the time and do as much as fast as they can until it goes off, they realized they could literally make a difference-an impact, really-by working gung-ho. Their five minute quick clean up work was usually much cleaner than when they'd take a half hour to do the same job.

For each action is a reaction; a consequence. Because they took their five minutes seriously, they often didn't have any other cleaning to do for the day. You can say the reward was immediate AND delayed and, quite honestly, they were proud of themselves.

Last month, I was sick and took a "leave from work" (purposely planning to let all writing slide). Though I did not have anything planned, I did end up taking a few minutes the following day to write a short blog. I included the blog link in my signature and posted it on Facebook. All together, it took about five minutes of my time. And that's when lightning struck.

Why not do a five minute quick WRITE UP? The kids cleaned five minutes. When I was a personal trainer, I would tell clients to exercise even just five minutes, knowing it often led to five more, and so on. So, why not use the same idea with writing?

Before putting the timer on, I made a decision about WHAT to write (since I usually try to do eight or nine projects all at one time and make little or no headway). With the decision in place (the screenplay), I wrote. And wrote. And wrote some more. After fifteen minutes I wrote even more (and more seriously) than I had the previous week.

Who'd ever think it'd be this easy? Just five minutes a day.

Commit to writing five minutes each day for thirty days. That's how you form a habit. A GOOD habit.

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