Wednesday, 25 January 2012

The Ten Minute Trick

My normal morning routine is characterised by military precision. From Monday to Friday, it goes like this:

06:50 Alarm goes off
06:51 Enter shower
07:00 Exit shower
07:01 Sort out face
07:06 Locate clean/ironed/matching clothes and get dressed
07:15 Eat (gobble) breakfast
07:25 Blast hair
07:33 Clean teeth
07:35 Collect together books, lunch and other school paraphernalia
07:40 Exit flat

I continue to obsessively clock watch for the rest of the day until I wave goodbye to the kiddies at 15:30. Then it gets a bit more flexible.

BUT, today I had a revelation. Calling it the Ten Minute Trick (TMT) doesn’t quite give it the gravitas it deserves for being so wholly transformative, but it does capture its genius simplicity. I can’t believe I’ve never thought of this before. All you’ve got to do is go to bed ten minutes earlier the night before and wake up ten minutes earlier in the morning. Mate, it’s SO good!

Here’s a brief outline of the excellent things that happened this morning because of it:

* I had the option of pressing snooze.
* I sat on the sofa in a relaxed fashion and watched enough of the England-Pakistan test to see two of our wickets fall.
* I made a pot of tea and drank some of it.
* I had a proper conversation with The Boyfriend.
* I washed up my breakfast bowl AND mug, PLUS some stuff hanging around from last night.
* I compiled a very satisfactory lunch.
* I left for work feeling relaxed. Relaxed, I tell you!

Although as I’m sure you will agree this all sounds great, the TMT doesn’t come without warnings. Take heed:

I have realised that I can’t do the TMT every day, because if I do, then at some point soon it’s going to stop being ‘extra’ time and it will just be normal. So, I’ll have to keep putting my alarm back ten minutes, and before I know it, I’ll be dragging myself out of bed in the middle of the night, which will negate anything positive coming from gaining an extra ten. It’ll be a bit (but not really anything) like doing drugs, where you have to increase the dosage to get your hit.

Enjoy your newfound time and appreciate each extra minute for its great potential worth but DON’T think about it too much. I’d say, by about 10am you should have got over it. I’ve been thinking about it literally all day and consequently my expectations of tomorrow are through the roof. I am destined to be disappointed. For tomorrow morning to be good, my cereal needs to somersault out of the packet, perform a can-can on the work surface and dive into my milk with Tom Daley style finesse. It ain't gonna happen.

There is definite potential for continued obsessive clock watching during your get-up due to the need to check whether you still have your ten minutes in the bank. You need to know if you're starting to dip into it...

WOW. SO. I think we can learn three things from this:

1) I highly recommend that you give the TMT a go.
2) It’s very important not to obsess over it like me.
3) Either I have OCD or I’m Swiss.

Friday, 13 January 2012

A smashing evening

One of my best things in life is being superbly productive in time which you anticipated would be spent lolling around vegetating. 

Tonight is an excellent example of this. I fully expected that at 3.30 this afternoon I’d be totally zombified, feeling completely knackered, ready to come home, collapse onto the sofa, eat, fall asleep, wake up, drag myself to bed and fall asleep again... 

BUT, instead it was full of highly satisfying productivity. I did some excellent bashing out of Science marking after school, which had built up into a small mountain, mighty to conquer.  When I got home, The Boyfriend and I blitzed the flat and it turned from verging on depressing back to lush. Then, I was ruthless and sorted out my magazines to prevent resembling that obsessive compulsive hoarder on Channel 4. (I admit that probably too many old Sunday Times Style mags managed to avoid the bin though, just in case I want to cut stuff out of them. You know, sometime.  For a scrapbook of… stuff.) Then, I hung up some photo frames, which I’m absolutely DELIGHTED with. THEN, I rehung my Chamonix print so that it is centred properly over the sofa. AND THEN, after a highly nutritious and delicious dinner, I put The Boyfriend’s India photos into the photo cube on the coffee table, while watching the Ulster-Leicester Heineken clash (FT Ulster 41 – 7 Leicester). Pro-duc-tiv-i-TY! I thought I’d do nothing, I did loads, I’d gained hours of extra weekend!

But then, I morphed from Wonder Woman into taxi driver, and on the way to taking The Boyfriend to meet a friend at the pub, smashed into someone’s wing mirror. 

Revelling in productivity has stopped. Headache has started. The Boyfriend says I shouldn’t worry because it’s what insurance is for. I’m gutted! So, I’m going to collapse onto the sofa, fall asleep, wake up, drag myself to bed and fall asleep again...