Technique Thursday: 5 Minutes

I listened to a summary of Hal Elrod’s The Miracle Formula earlier this week. A couple of key points from the book have lingered with me. One of which I shared with someone during a counseling appointment this week. So, I thought I’d share it here, too.

When faced with a difficult moment, Elrod suggests setting a 5:00 timer and allowing yourself to feel the weight, difficulty, and grief of the situation. Experience the real, raw emotions for that timeframe.

After the 5:00 timeframe, a couple of things are apparent:

– we live in reality rather than denial

– we have the time to figure out what we can and cannot control. We gain a realistic view of the path ahead.


Technique Thursday: 10, 10, 10

While reading David Brooks’ The Second Mountain, he shared (in an off-handed comment) a device that he uses for making personal decisions.

In the most significant decisions in his life, Brooks employs a 10, 10, 10 filtering system.

Let’s give it a try. Think of your most pressing decision that you have in front of you. Think of what decision you think you should make.

Imagine what life will be like in:

10 minutes

10 months

10 years

Do you like what you can imagine with the limited knowledge that you have? If so, take your leap. If not, you might pick another option and perform the same exercise.


Technique Thursday: Streaks App

Thursday’s are for practical, pragmatic, techniques for everyday living. Today, I wanted to share about an app that is keeping me on track: Streaks.

Streaks keeps track of any goal, any frequency that I have. Currently, I have 5 goals in Streaks and it gives me the daily reminder to continue what I started.

It might be my personality, but I like a scoreboard and I like to keep adding to a score if I can. Streaks gives me that extra motivation to add to the progress that I made yesterday.

Check it out. It might be just what you need to get over the hump on that challenging task or discipline.

Technique Thursday: Work + Rest

I saw this talk over the relationship between work + rest that I have been trying to implement into my work routine. I thought I’d share the gist on Technique Thursday.

This technique simply tries to get the most out of our work by planning rest periods. I try to follow this basic formula: Stress + Rest = Growth

If we could see work and rest on a wavelength, we can see how a daily work period might be planned:

Without planned rest, we are tempted to try to have a flat line of production, sporadic work/rest or even to try to keep our production at a high level until we exhaust:

Instead, try to build a rhythm or ratio for work and rest. The one I’m working with is 90 minutes of work followed by 20 minutes of rest.

During the 90 minutes, I try to leave my phone away from my desk so I can concentrate on the task list that I have.

When I rest for 20 minutes, I usually get up and away from the desk so I can fully rest.

Give it a shot. Let me know what you think.

Technique Thursday: The Flow

I came across an idea worth sharing. It’s helping me calibrate goals and tasks for life and ministry. It’s called “The Flow” and it takes into account the combination of our Skills and our Challenges.

Think of Skills and Challenges on a grid:

A growth flow happens when we are challenged at the same rate as our skills are used:

If our skills outweigh our challenge, we become bored with life or work:

And if our challenge exceeds our skills we have anxiety for our tasks:

Therefore, we should seek to enter the flow, the sweet spot between our skills and challenges.