10 minutes is all it takes.

Jun 20, 2023

It’s rare for me to socialize at midnight. It helps when there’s an 11-hour difference when Ronja and I have met online the last couple times. 😆

Usually this time is spent doing the typical avoidant/distracting routine – so tonight was a drastic disruption to that routine and unexpectedly facilitated a change I’ve been wanting to try for months. So thank you Ronja. 🙏 

We’ve related deeply on a variety of topics and mental struggles as we navigate creating on YouTube.

Takeaways from our call that I wanted to share:

We can overcome overthinking in an “instant.”

We both had procrastinated taking action on a couple distinct projects. Indecision, overthinking, comparison, perfectionism — the whole gambit.

I had a thought: 🤔 we can commit to meeting tonight, but we can’t take 30 minutes to work on this project on any given day? (speaking for myself mostly: it’s been over a month since last YT upload, barely touching the scripting process. Avoiding it DAILY.)

I prompted, “… so, since we are here, how about we dedicate just ten minutes to starting our project?”

So we coworked! 

Made more progress in 10 minutes than I did in a month. ✅ (which is not to say much in terms of what was written for me, but is huge in terms of breaking stagnation)

It went so well that we coworked again for 25+ minutes.

Most of the call around this cowork block was spent connecting, which was the original intention, and it felt great to finally break midnight-stagnation with momentum + connection.

Because … 👇

Sometimes us overthinkers don’t need to “UNDERSTAND why we can’t just start.”

We don’t need to know WHY it’s so hard to start or WHY we’re avoiding it. 

We don’t need to know the “root reason” or what we need to reframe in our brain.

A lot of these thinkings can keep us focused on “identifying” problems and solutions — rather than DOING the solution we already know (write!).

It CAN be helpful to get to the root of a problem, retrain our inner dialogue, or have a conversation with a friend to talk things out. — These, however, are best done in tandem to “the doing.”

What we need is simple action.

It will be messy at first. We might hem-and-haw and feel the anxious pull to do anything but write a single word.

Even with the most intricate plan, we can’t anticipate all the snakes hiding in the jungle of our work – until we’re in it. The only way to get rid of those snakes is to go into the jungle and confront them -when- they appear.

Less understanding, less overthinking, less over-complicating.

More simplifying, more action-ing.

10 minutes was all it took for the floodgates to open.

Just ten minutes.

Some days that’s all we have energy for.

Ten minutes. One sentence. Three brush strokes.

It feels painfully and even humiliatingly simple. “I can ONLY muster one sentence? Pssh. I may as well do at least a page.”

Well, have I written worked on a script AT ALL in the past month?

Ahem. Yes, only a sentence is where I have to start. Because even a measly sentence is a far cry from “yet another day without ANY progress (for the 30th day in a row).”

👀 But more often than not? 

Those ten minutes transform our energy, reconnect our spirit to the act of creating, and soon enough we’re in our flow — and it’s harder to stop writing than it was to start. 

Let simplicity have a voice at the table.

If my “exciting project” isn’t compelling me to literal action, I am thinking too big with the project. Chunk it down and focus on the smaller, tangible thing I can do right now (like just 10 minutes of writing, or one sentence).

I’m so disconnected from the creative work that I can’t think right about the creative process.

Yes, do have “the big grandiose idea.” DO work on it.

But -also- allow simplicity to have a voice at the table. It’s not this-or-that, it’s balancing this-AND-that.

Right now, simple things play a huge part in the grand scheme of life because they create momentum and pull oneself out of stagnation.

In the time I’ve over-thought and procrastinated on one video project, I could have completed 6+ simpler ideas. Those ideas would have built the momentum and habits necessary to complete more ambitious videos, get more efficient at my work, and develop skills that will make it more natural to complete those “intricate, pretty” videos my mind envisions.

Plus: there can be more magic than you realize in the simple things.

I already have enough information.

If I stopped watching YouTube videos and podcasts for a year or three, I’d still have enough information in my brain to make videos and “work on myself.”

There’s enough baked into my intuition and brain at this point that listening to another video is more likely entertainment than useful.

I wager that “consuming more” is in my Top 3 problems in life right now. I’m not adequately filtering out less-useful content that I watch or save AND I’m not implementing what I learn fast enough.

Too much time is spent on the side of consumption than is spent on the side of “creation / implementation.”

I’m working on trying to:

1) implement what I already know, not just know more.

2) ask if what I’m watching/reading is worth consuming a 2nd time or more.

3) notice the inspired actions from what I just read or watched. That is more important than the content itself.

4) focusing on implementing, in any small way, one core inspired idea from the content.

Once I start doing things with the information, my body understands it – not just my mind.

For most of my life I’ve lived in my mind more than my body.

In the planning, more than the actioning.

The future, more than the present.

Mental knowledge, planning, and orienting towards the future ARE all important. Those are often 90% of the equation for me, when it should only be 10%. 

Most of the equation should be spent on implementation, integrating, actioning, courage-ing.

• • •


Sometimes one sentence, ten minutes is all it takes.

Will you scroll one more time? One more video?

Or what one small (yes, stupidly small) step towards that ‘one thing’ can you take right now?

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