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The Twelve Minute Rule

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Welcome to The Karmic Ally Coaching Experience Blog! If you are a first time visitor, please know that we welcome comments and sharing of experiences. Do remember to download your free Time Management Tip Sheets at the end of this post. 

12 Minute Rule to Time Management
 When I sat down to write this post, the title eluded me. I toyed with the idea of Karmic Ally’s Twelve Minute Rule, Vatsala’s Twelve Minute Rule, and Breaking News: Social Media Twelve Minute Tips Work for Time Management. I even thought along the lines of Twelve Minute Rule Rocks and Awesome Twelve Minute Rule!

The constants were Twelve Minute and Rule and I finally settled on a simple and humble The Twelve Minute Rule.

So what happened that made me go Twelve Minute happy? 

Do you believe in Carl Jung’s concept of Synchronicity? Well something similar  happened when I was thinking about procrastination and the balance between running a practice and business development. Google search introduced me to an amazing lady Becky Robinson who has created the 31 Days of Twitter Tips.

The Aha moment happened while I was doing the challenge for enhancing my Social Media presence in Twelve Minutes a day. If you are planning to improve your Twitter presence and have time scarcity, then this guide is a must read and worth every dime.

Coming back to Time Management, I realized that 12 minutes of action or procrastination can make or break our ability to stay on top our game and impact our success rate in meeting targets and goals.

Embracing the habit of setting clear priorities and completing important tasks quickly reduces many time management issues. Eat the frog and then relax knowing that you are cruising on the highway to success.  

So here are a few of the ways that I am now applying the Twelve Minute Rule.

Need to get a job done? Spend Twelve Minutes simply going over what you need to achieve, brainstorm the actions required and then choose the best option for action. You might find that some of the tasks can be delegated – note it down and then allot some time to instructing the person you intend to delegate to.

Got too many emails in the Inbox? Take Twelve Minutes to do an overview and sort them out before opening any. Delete all spam and unnecessary emails, highlight the ones you need to pay attention to and forward the ones that require other people to action.

We often postpone important tasks with resulting anxiety and stomach aches. Time Management techniques of Chunk, Block and Tackle work well where we break tasks into manageable bytes. If you follow the 15 Minute Rule, then each actionable step should not take more than 15 minutes. My spin is, reduce the time limit to Twelve Minutes and take the other 3 to either rest or celebrate a task done. Kill two birds with one stone.  

Need advice? Book time with a trusted mentor or expert and ask them for insights. Tell them you will not take more than Twelve Minutes of their time. It beats saying that you will take a minute and will definitely intrigue them enough to allot you the time slot. If you use this tactic, make sure you stay within time limits!

Celebrate a task well done with a Twelve Minute break to do something nice focused at you. Make that cup of coffee, do stretch exercises, call a loved one or take a power nap. “Me time activities are great rejuvenation.

Love Social Media but find other important activities get side-lined? Do what I have been doing for the last 1 month. Log on to LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social media accounts for only Twelve Minutes twice a day and clock yourself to log off when the time is up. Do it twice a day and you will find that the sky does not collapse and your day is more productive.

Knowing that you have limited time, you will scan for the good stuff, have meaningful interactions and actually take away more from the precious time. Think Pareto’s Principle or the 80/20 Rule.

Now that is what I call killing two birds with one stone.

What about you? Any Twelve Minute tips to share?


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16 Responses to “The Twelve Minute Rule”

  1. Angela Goodeve says:

    Love this concept Vatsala! I will definitely be giving the “12 minute rule” a try, and love how you add taking 12 minutes for “me time” too! I have been getting in the habit of at least stopping for a few minutes to take a breath and find something to be grateful for, which has made a big difference. I can only imagine what 12 minutes will do! 😉

  2. Karmic Ally says:

    Thanks Angela. I look forward to your feedback on the Twelve Minute Rule once you’ve tried it. I’ve been doing it for some time now and find that it makes a difference. Even frees up my time to do other things and most importantly the “me time” which many of us delegate to the bottom of the To Do List. Thanks for dropping by!

  3. This is brilliant, Vatsala! Do let us know how your coaching clients get on by using this technique – particularly regarding ME time.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Welcome to the Karmic Ally Coaching Experience Blog, Monique! Good question, ME Time seems to be one of the most neglected areas which ranks low on the Priority List whereas it should be high up, number one really. It takes a bit of coaxing with doable ideas such as getting up earlier than the rest of the household and stretch exercises while watching the kettle boil! The good news is that one the idea catches on, I am amazed with the creative ways in which people work out a Twelve Minute Me Time. They just have to step up to the plate.

  4. How valuable it is to break down daunting tasks into 12 minutes! I love the thought — and yes, I do believe in synchronicity!

    • Karmic Ally says:

      A very warm welcome to the Karmic Ally Coaching Experience Blog, Peggy Lee! Twelve minutes is not a lot of time and yet enough to get a task done and well. I knew of the word Synchronicity thanks to Police when I was at University but took a few years of observation and experience to realize that if you ask with sincerity, the Universe does provide. In this case, it was the thought of a 12 Minute Rule for managing time.

  5. Debra Jason says:

    Fabulous Vatsala. I particularly like you’re breakdown on the 15 minutes rule – taking 12 minutes to do the task and then 3 minutes to either rest or celebrate achieving completion!
    Thanks. ~Debra

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Hi Debra. We all love rewards and knowing that there are 3 minutes to ‘chill out’ after the task is a great motivator. The question is whether one does the task effectively as well as efficiently in those 12 minutes.

  6. This is brilliant: chunk down the tasks/commitments into a known 12 minute cycle and then give myself the positive reinforcement of a reward. That’s 2 ways of helping me achieve without interruption!

    Thanks Vatsala!

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Always welcome, Andrea! Having something good to look forward to is a great motivator to get the task done.

  7. Tai Goodwin says:

    I love the idea of 12 minute breaks. Chunking time has always been something that has helped me get unstuck. Thanks for this reminder and a new way to apply it. Taking 3 minutes to recalibrate will be very helpful.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Thank you Tai! I find a little break between tasks helps to clear the mind and rest the body. It helps to focus on the next task with renewed zest.

  8. Raspal Seni says:

    Hi Vatsala,

    Hadn’t been to your blog ever, I guess. Had viewed your website a couple times, though.

    Landed on your blog from your comments at Kevin Duncan’s post (6 Blog Design Tips…).

    Commenting on this post, even though it’s an old post. It’s an ever-green post, and very interesting, IMO.

    Nice color combo, I like it too. This was the post title that made me click and read.

    I’ll check out Becky Robinson’s ebook on Twitter. Thanks for mentioning it.

    I recently heard an old podcast by Ed Gandia, along with James Clear. They talk about creating mini/tiny habits instead of goals. They say, for example, start with 1 or 2 pushups if we want to start exercising. I’ve started applying this to practising daily headline writing (Jon Morrow wrote 100 each day, if you know).

    Since this year, I’m also practising Inbox Zero and I’m glad my Inbox is almost zero, mostly. I also forward e-mails I want to be reminded about later, to followupthen. It’s a nice, free service, though they have paid plans too. I also use the “Reply and Delete” in Outlook. Deleted e-mails will remain in the server’s Trash folder for 2 months and on the last day of the month, I permanently delete the rest.

    I’ve heard of the pomodoro technique where you work for 25 minutes and rest for 5. Ed Gandia uses a 50-20-50 rule, instead. Work for 50 minutes undistracted, then rest or take a break for 20 minutes, and then work for 50 minutes, again. Had tried this one and it seemed to work. he advises going out for a walk in that 20 minutes’ break, if you can.

    I recently attended a webinar by Tim Paige and he said, instead of the 80/20 rule, it’s actually 95/5. Yes, that’s true — 95% of our work produces 5% of the results, and 5% of our work produces 95% of the results. Surprising?

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Glad you liked my blog and especially this post! I can see you've been doing your research about the right kind of time management method for yourself. I suggest you try each technique and then settle on one that helps you to optimize your time. Interestingly, I had done a series on time management techniques some time back and had covered the Pomodoro in my post Can a Tomato Improve your Time Management? I think you will find the series interesting. Thanks for visiting!

  9. Raspal Seni says:

    Yes, I’m trying out some techniques and will use the ones which work for me. Everyone is unique, so what works for one, may not work at all for the other.

    Will read the Pomodoro series of posts. Thanks for the link. I’m I’ll find it interesting. 🙂

    • Karmic Ally says:

      I suggest you have a read through the category of time management posts. I think you will find a lot of information there. Thanks for dropping by the blog, Raspal.

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I believe the world would be a better place if high achieving professionals accepted setbacks and challenges to their careers as Wake Up Calls to embark on a Journey where their empowered course correcting actions create a New World Order that encompasses achieving their career aspirations & potential with authentic life balance.

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