I’m talking about the power of ten minutes. That was the one of the recurring themes I picked up on as I was interviewing 12 diverse experts for the Mental Toughness Summit last month.
For example: In visiting talent hotbeds around the world from Russia to Brazil, Daniel Coyle, author of The Talent Code, noticed that deliberate practice happened in 10-minute bursts.
In a pilot study with Marines preparing for a tour of duty in Iraq, Dr. Liz Stanley found that 10 minutes of practicing daily mindfulness – e.g. simple exercises like consciously shifting their attention between contact points such as the hum of electricity and the wind – significantly enhanced their sleep and working memory, and relieved anxiety and stress.
And sports psychologist Jason Selk based his whole book, 10-Minute Toughness, on the premise that it’s possible to develop a mental edge simply by spending a few minutes everyday on visualization, goal-setting and the other steps of his mental training workout.
(Not so coincidentally perhaps, studies show our attention wavers after 10 minutes.)
So as I was sayin’ last week: think big, start small. What could YOU do in 10 minutes of uber-focus?
With 10 minutes of focus, I could probably get a whole lot more done. This is actually rare for me. I;m always checking my phone, email or facebook, so I find myself always struggling to stay fully engaged.