Picture a box of juicy oranges in front of you.
You have been set the task to peel them all. How would you do it best?
Well, one orange at a time, with a sharp knife, you say.
Correct. I’d do it the same way too.
But most of us try to pick up as many oranges as we can. When we hold a handful and try to peel them, we end up dropping several.
Sometimes we find ourselves at the end of the day, surrounded by dropped, un-peeled oranges. We tried to take on so much that we didn’t do anything. We never found enough purchase to hold on to any one orange.
We need to think of our daily tasks as oranges.
Each one of them requires a firm grip, without being distracted by any other orange.
We’d also peel that orange with a sense of enjoyment, flow and a hint of indulgence.
So take on one orange at a time. One task at a time. And find a way to enjoy it.
I don’t know about you, but my biggest issue has always been trying to do too much. A fleeting source of enjoyment came in the idea of finishing everything. And of course, this meant rushing through my tasks, doing too many things at the same time and failing to complete much at all.
Now I think in oranges.
I think in fifteen-minute chunks of dedicated activity to one thing.
You can do the same.
Or ten minutes (plum).
Or five minutes (chestnut).
What is the ONE thing I will do in the next fifteen minutes that would be the best use of that time?
Now do only that. If it needs longer, add another fifteen.
Don’t rush. Indulge in the idea that nothing can distract you in this little time-block.
It’s not about moving more quickly or more slowly.
Every ‘time guru’ provides conflicting information on this.
Some say to breathe and slow down. Others say to act with urgency and speed.
How fast you move is not the issue.
When you are in a speeding mindset, you will try to do too much at once.
When you consciously slow down, you lose control through wandering.
The gold comes from doing one thing after another.
Be with one thing. Then be with the next thing, and minimise the time you spend between oranges.
You’ll get more done that way no matter how fast you move.
And, usually, you’ll end up moving quickly without rushing because you are in the flow — the now — of one after another.
If you can master one after the other, you are in the top 1%.
Thinking in these dedicated blocks is a habit. Get better at it by doing it. Write ‘15’ on your hand. Get a bracelet to remind you.
If you’re like me and shut down at the idea of ‘time-management,’ worry less about routine, organisation and structure, and more about the next fifteen.
The next orange.
Be aware of your priorities, yes. You don’t want to leave the most essential stuff till last. Go for the juiciest oranges first. Ideally, the hardest to peel first.
Place each peeled orange in a visible box, so you know what you’ve done. Write down what you’ve done or check it off. This feels good.
You’ll be surprised at how much time you have when you think in oranges.
What will you do in the next fifteen minutes?
Does this concept make sense to you? If you have 10.4 seconds, I’d love to read your comment below.
What makes you come alive?
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