Wednesday, January 17, 2007

"15 Minutes" Rules!

I know I've said this before. But every time I seriously put it to the test, I am amazed all over again. "15 Minutes" rules!

I think the reason it works so well for me is that I dread big jobs, therefore I put off doing them. For example, my Sunday school teaching materials have flannelgraph pieces that I have to cut apart for each series of lessons. I'm starting a new series this Sunday, so it was time to cut out the pieces again. Instead of just jumping in, I planned for a 15-minute cutting session this afternoon. I ended up doing two of them, about 30 minutes apart. I found that I can cut two double pages of flannelgraph shapes in 15 minutes. When I finished, I picked up the scrap pieces and threw them away, put the cut pieces on top of those not done yet, and put them on my credenza, ready for me to continue tomorrow (but I actually think I'll do one more session tonight!). The pressure to get ALL the pieces cut out in one day is not there, when you're just going to work for 15 minutes. Obviously this won't work if you put off starting! When the pressure is not there, the dread of the job isn't there either.

So, having said all that, here is what I accomplished today, mostly in 15-minute chunks of time:

Cleaned out fridge, wiped shelves - 15 minutes
Unloaded dishwasher, loaded breakfast dishes
Mopped laundry room, entry, and kitchen floors (more than 15 minutes, but they were too dirty to put off to later)
Washed mats - probably less than 15 minutes all together! Yay for modern appliances!
Washed two loads of clothes - same as mats
Decluttered walk-in closet - 15 minutes (began this yesterday w/15 minutes, did more today, still have bits and pieces of things to do, mainly purging unneeded clothes)
Scrubbed bathtub, cleaned light fixture, light switch, and vanity cabinet doors, spot-cleaned door frame - 15 minutes - yes, all that in just 15 minutes, and I haven't even been faithfully keeping up with those jobs!
Decluttered sewing basket - 15 minutes
Made a menu and grocery list - 15 minutes
Worked on my Home Management Binder - 15 minutes
Cut flannelgraph pieces - 15 minutes, twice
Played piano - 15 minutes, three separate times today - I practiced the piano for 45 minutes today without taking a big chunk of time out of my day
Blogged - 15 minutes - this is my second session of blogging; the other is on my other blog.
Ironed 3 shirts and 3 pairs of pants - two 15-minute sessions while my husband had a meeting

This way of working may not be sensible to everyone, but it sure helps me a lot. My husband doesn't understand it; he likes to tackle a big job and get it all done. I just dread it till it absolutely has to be done. Also, if you're doing something like a craft, it doesn't make sense to spend only 15 minutes on it. For those things, I like to still have a specific amount of time, then stop and put it away, say 30 minutes to an hour, so that I feel like I've worked on it, but not overwhelmed myself with it or neglected something else.

What I loved about today's work was that I got so many different things done. I didn't get tired of doing one thing; there was always something else to do, a change coming in a few minutes. Plus, I just have a lot of things to do this week, so it helps to spend a little time each day on each of them.

I'll stop rambling now. I feel like I've really used my time well today, and that makes for a good night's sleep.

1 comment:

Tammy said...

Wow, you got a lot done!

Yesterday I was going to go home and do the same sort of thing, but I ended up being on my feet for the last 4 hours of my work day. So I read and knitted instead. Hmmm...doesn't do much for the housework that needed to be done!