Thursday, October 13, 2016

Day 2555 - How to achieve a day's worth of result in just 10 minutes

What could you achieve in just 10 minutes?

This is the IKEA dude.
Image Source

Quite a few years ago I attended a success conference where someone (no idea who) talked about time management.  They made reference to IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad and his approach to success.

Apparently one secret to the IKEA success is time.  The ability to have lots of it and to make the most of it.

Let me explain ...

We tend to create our to-do lists based on the next 24 hours.  Or perhaps in a work setting we base it on the next 8 hours.

Ingvar Kamprad divides his days into sections of 10 minutes.

His philosophy is that if you give yourself an hour to get a task done you will take an hour.  If you give yourself 10 minutes to get the same task done you will do it in 10 minutes.

This approach to creating results has stuck with me.  As I juggle so many projects across so many roles I have learned that I can achieve a hell of a lot in just 10 minutes.

A man like Ingvar Kamprad, the head of a multi billion dollar empire, would have a lot of networking and management to do.  Yet he still needs time to actually do the things he needs to do that set his business apart from the pack.  He still needs the time to contribute to the innovation of the business.  So he gives himself just 10 minutes to power through emails and return phone calls, then can spend the next 50 minutes doing another 5 tasks chunked down into 10 minute intervals.  Then an hour later he's back to doing another 10 minutes worth of follow up.

I've tested this theory and it works.

When I'm at my busiest I schedule my day to the nearest 10 minutes.  Whether it be home, business, mum duties.

We'll use home as an example.

If I need to clean the bathrooms I will give myself 10 minutes to get it done.  Surprisingly I can clean two bathrooms and vacuum the lounge room in 10 minutes if I have to.  If I give myself half an hour to do it, I will take the full half hour.

Yesterday I drove home from Goulburn in the morning to quickly change and get ready for work.  I had only 10 minutes turn around time.  In that 10 minutes I was able to say hi to the hubster and our lad as they headed to work and school, unpack my bag from 4 days of travel, change my clothes, curl my hair, take my washing to the laundry and put on a load.  If I had half an hour I would have taken half an hour.

Imagine if you got a phone call from the in-laws to say they were in the area and thought they'd pop in for a cuppa.  Imagine if the house looked like a bomb had gone off.  How quickly could you tidy the place in the 10 minutes you had spare before their arrival?

The reality is we can get a lot done in a short amount of time when we have no choice.

Imagine how much we could fit into our day if we chunked it down into 10 minute sections of action.  Imagine how much down time we could schedule ourselves! 10 minutes on, 50 minutes off.

Time is our most precious resource.

There is so much we could do in just 10 minutes.  

Do you make the best use of your time?

What could you get done in 10 minutes?

Care to take the IKEA challenge?

Interesting fact: Ever wondered where the name IKEA came from?  It's made up from the initials of Ingvar Kamprad's name, plus the initial of their family property and the initial of the nearest town where he grew up. 


  1. There you go - did he grow up in Arhaus?
    It's a good theory. I'm not sure I'm regimented enough to make it work but I can see it could.

  2. Great theory. I am not sure what I could get done in just 10 mins, but you've opened up my eyes and got me thinking, so thanks for that! I will be more aware of how I use and manage my time

    1. It really is amazing what you can get done in a short amount of time once you make the decision.

  3. Sounds exhausting but oh so productive! So long as I get 50 minutes down time I'm in. Ha! Seriously though I do see the merit in this. I find the best way for me to get housework done is to set the alarm on the oven so I have 15 mins to go like the clappers before it goes off. I get so much done as the time constraint motivates me to do something I really don't want to do. It's the same principle. Having just ten would see me motoring that's for sure! :-)

  4. Interesting theory. The Builder is currently reading a book called the four hour week, and we have both become far more efficient with our time learning to delegate and give ourselves short deadlines. We have found we both work best under pressure.

  5. I certainly write assignments best when under a deadline! I do like this though, and when stuff needs to be done around the house I can think about it for hours and then get it all done in 15mins!

  6. Not sure I could plan in 10min segments. But... I know that I'm more productive when I don't have much time. This week, for example, I was stressed about some stuff I had to do at work. My 2 day weeks are great, but I watch the emails come in between Thurs and the following Tues and reply to some, but leave the non-urgent stuff. And so I go in Tues morning worried about a huge to-do list and find that I rush through them quickly and this week (for eg) I'd completed it all by about 9am!

  7. I did not know that, I thought IKEA was Swedish for "flat pack" or something ahahaha.

  8. I have three months to finish a course that I'm not loving. I wonder if this method could help!

  9. If I broke up the rest of my work day into ten minute segments I might cry because there's so many of them ;)

  10. My friend used to have a box of index cards, and each card had a 5 minute chore written on it. Whenever she had a spare 5 minutes, she would pick out the front card and do that chore, before placing it at the back. I like her style but have never been that organised myself!

  11. Oh, I love this! I've taken on several projects and I'm working on my time management. But I reckon there's heaps of tasks I can break down to do in 10 mins where at the moment I've allocated 15 or even 30. I'm going to give myself 10 minutes to write a list of the 10 minute tasks 😉


I love hearing your thoughts! Keep them rolling in :)

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