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The Power of 15

We all have them, it is the rare person who doesn't. I am talking about those dreaded days were our energy is low, where we can't get started, where even the simplest tasks seem like moving a mountain regardless if they are personal or professional. In short, you have the blahs.

Why are you blah? It could to many assignments to mark, administrators who just don't get it, too little sleep, a to-do list longer than your arm, or all of the above. Regardless of the reason, you have the blahs and now you have to figure out how to move past them.

I use the power of 15 to deal with these times. This is a trick I learned over a decade ago and one that I keep coming back to time and time again. I don't remember where I first heard about this technique. It is not new. I bet you already have heard about it and might even be doing it. If you look it up on the internet, you'll see a host of people claiming they invented it. Where it came from isn't important. Actually doing it is.

By now I can hear you saying, "Okay already, what is it?"

The power of 15 is a simple motivational technique. I set a timer and tell myself that I only have to do this "thing" for 15 minutes and then I can do something else. The "thing" is different for everyone. It could be a project you've been dreading, exercising, cleaning out the garage, whatever. It is your personal stumbling block. It doesn't matter what the something else is either. You can work on another project, have a cup of tea, do something you love; the something else is just a reward (mental bribe) to get you started on the "thing" you haven't had the umph to do yet.

The power of 15 technique has never failed me. I always accomplish something even if it is only for 15 minutes. If, at the end of the 15 minutes, I still find myself worn out, I just schedule another 15 minutes later in my day. And then I just think to myself, "Heck that was better than the avoidance I had going before." And what usually happens is that I find myself absentmindedly shutting off the timer alarm and continuing to work on the "thing" for quite a bit longer, sometimes to completion.

What motivates you to get started when you have the blahs?

Lissa Clayborn,
Director of Development, CSTA

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