Thursday, May 02, 2013

The Miracle of 15 Minutes

366:234 Taking 15 minutes to ourselves.
Photo by iampeas

I do a lot of reading about time management. So much reading, in fact, that I sometimes don't manage my time very well. Ahem. I've finally realized that for any time management advice to work, I . . . umm . . I have to work.

And one way I've learned to work is The Miracle of 15 Minutes.

I call it a miracle because it doesn't seem like you could get much of anything done in only 15 minutes. That's how I thought before I discovered FlyLady way back in 2000. She is a huge advocate of The Miracle of 15 Minutes.

Have you ever timed yourself to see just what you can get done in 15 minutes?

I'd see my dishes in the sink and think, "That will take too long; I'll wait till tomorrow morning when I have more energy."

Or I'd put off mopping the floor, thinking it would take SO long to move the chairs, sweep, fill the bucket, get out the mop, mop the floor, rinse out the bucket and mop and put them away.

 Clean out the fridge? No way! That takes too long!

So when I found FlyLady way back then, I was skeptical, but I tried it.

I couldn't believe it! 

In 15 minutes, I could get most of the dishes washed, so why not take another 5 minutes and finish them off?

I set my timer for 15 minutes and started sweeping the floor to mop it. Hmmm. Took less than 5 minutes. Mopping and putting away the mop and bucket took another 10. So in less than 15 minutes I can sweep AND mop the floor and even put away the evidence.

And cleaning out the fridge? I set the timer for 15 minutes and got after it. Again, less than 15 minutes, especially if it hadn't been very long since the last time I cleaned it out.

I found to my surprise that very few household jobs take more than 15 minutes, and almost none take more than 30.

I love my "secret miracle!" It helps me get up and work all that time management stuff I've been learning. And it's not only helped me with my homemaking, but in other areas as well. I can practice the piano, read a book, write a blog post (!), study to teach a lesson, sew a few seams, write a letter . . . for 15 minutes. I may not finish said projects, but I at least get a little done on them.

And a little is better than nothing, right? Apparently I'm studying productivity too!

Here's a list of 90 Things I Can Do In 15 Minutes. No, I don't do these every day. Nor is my home spotless; far from it. These are just things I wrote down over the course of a few days one week several years ago, then added to it for a few more days. All these things can be done in 15 minutes or less. Just to give you an idea of what a miracle 15 Minutes is!

Now go set your timer for 15 minutes . . .

Have you tried the Miracle of 15 Minutes? What things can you get done in 15 minutes?

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  1. I have often done the 15 minutes at a time thing. I love it. It really does help to get things done. Emilie Barnes was the first person I learned it from. Then Flylady. I have hand quilted an entire quilt by working for 15 minutes at a time. I stuck to it and got the quilt done. I've also used it for yardwork, housework of all kinds and more.

    1. I love to hear things like this! What a way to quilt - 15 minutes at a time. I love it! The amazing thing is that it really works!

  2. I read Emilie Barnes book, Getting Organized in 15 Minutes a Day and it changed my life. It truly is amazing what can be accomplished with a change of mind set!


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