Three Minute Limit

Guest Post by Dick Warn

How many times in this past year has someone asked you for a minute, and then taken an hour?

Rather than move directly to any critical point, “time robbers” wander with the weather, take tangents with your hobbies, and dance around the very subject they want to talk about. It is like someone asking for a raise; fear of what might be said holds them back.

The next time someone interrupts you and asks for a minute, close the door to potential time loss by saying: “My schedule is really tight. If we can keep this to three minutes or less, we can deal with it right now. Otherwise it must wait.”

Serious people with something to share will get right to the point. The others, the worry warts, wandering generalities, and me-first, self-centered people will be offended.

When I set the three minute limit with someone I take my watch off and place it where it can be seen by both of us. A friend of mine uses a three minute egg timer, the type with sand in a glass, placing it on the forward edge of his desk. The instant his controlled conversation begins he turns the timer over. Falling sand inspires most people.

Back when all telephone calls went through a division of Ma Bell, Ma Bell’s research center discovered that the most important things anyone had to say could be said in three minutes or less.

Life is too short to waste time with wandering worriers. Use the three minute limit.

Dick Warn is the author of The Miracle Minute, a weekly email sent free to readers around the world. His latest book, Mystical Mentor can be previewed at

Posted on March 25, 2013, in Personal Growth. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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