August 16, 2013
Five Minute Rule
It works like this. I tell myself that I can handle anything for five minutes. It's such a short amount of time that I can make it. But here's the trick - it's never five minutes once I get into it. The first five minutes of running is brutal, but I always realize it's not as brutal as I thought it would be and I feel like I've already invested in the activity and so I finish it anyway. Similarly, I've never sat down to write for five minutes and kept it at five minutes. I always find my flow. Even on a "bad" writing day, I stick with it.
I'm not saying that this will work for everyone. It's just a quirky habit to force myself to do what I need to do when I don't feel like it.
But my lingering question is this:
How do we get students to do that? How do we get them to do something they don't want to do but need to do? I'm not referring to time deadlines or detention or anything external. I'm thinking about something more self-directed. I want to see students build up that initial drive to do something that they don't feel like doing because they know it will pay off longterm.
photo credit: Sean Molin Photography via photopin cc