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“Do I practice and prepare for my gig later this week or do I play Super Mario Kart?”
It’s an age old question, right? Should I invest time doing what I know will push me further toward my goals or goof off to run from the stress…
I’m sad to say I’ve chosen to run more times than I care to admit and ultimately paid the price in multiple ways: lost productivity, embarrassing gigs I was unprepared for, and even lost income.
That all changed when I discovered a very powerful motivation builder that it only takes one-minute… Well, kind of:-)
This method is a loose adaptation of the Pomodoro Technique (google it for the full scoop) that breaks your time into intervals making it easier to beat the procrastination monster.
Here’s where it gets dicey for me. It’s not always an issue of procrastination. Sometimes I just have too many tasks on my plate, most music related, but some are also day-to-day life tasks that drain energy like crazy. This very easily leads to overwhelm and the desperate search for some form of escape (see Mario Kart example above…)
Here’s how the one-minute path to greatness method works. You choose one or two of your most important tasks. Again, this is a music related article so you can choose music related tasks, but they don’t have to be.
Now set a timer for one-minute and begin working on the first task you chose above…
I can hear the groans already! “What?!!! That’s it?! That’s all there is to this ‘Path to Greatness’?”
Yep. Let me explain why this is such a deceptively powerful technique. Once the tasks are chosen the hard part is done. You’ve made a conscious decision on where to place your focus. This temporarily removes the massive burden of having too many things to do and frees up your mind to function more effectively. Plus, once the one-minute timer goes off there’s very little chance you’re going to stop because forward momentum has begun. Win-win! Your focus is in the present moment, not on overwhelming your task list and you’re making progress on the current task.
Here are some applications where I’ve found this method useful: practicing my instrument, memorizing music, preparing for gigs, writing music, doing the bills, working out, preparing taxes, going through emails, making business calls, weekly planning, daily planning, brainstorming sessions, cleaning, filing old documents. The list could go on-and-on…
The absolute best part of this particular method is the residual effect it provides. Being able to focus for short periods of time without nagging worry and anxiety is priceless. Your nervous system has a chance to rest and recuperate while you’re being productive. Plus, there’s a sense of accomplishment and confidence that begins building in all areas of your life because things are being completed and your task list is constantly shrinking.
In today’s world there’s always an app or service that promises to help you regain control of your life. There’s nothing wrong with that. However, I do stand by the notion that sometimes the simplest solution is a far better stepping stone into maximizing your potential and finding your greatness than anything the latest gadget or app can offer.
Until next time, stay focused, stay consistent, and expect the best from yourself. 🙂
About the author: Ty Morgan is a professional guitarist in the Phoenix, Arizona area. He also owns and operates one of the premier guitar education academies in the area. If you’re searching for rock/blues guitar lessons in Mesa, AZ and ready to experience the science of learning and mastering guitar be sure to contact Ty!