Saturday, October 5, 2013

Day 5: The Magic of 15 Minutes.

This is my best friend.

In fact, for years, it was the only way I could tackle any of my housework. I'd set my timer for 15 minutes and focus on one thing. Then, I'd set it again and do another thing. I'd go through whole days like that.

Remember we talked about what "being organized" meant to you? If it's finding something--anything--in less than two minutes as Nicole wrote, then I imagine that picking things up and putting them away would be a pretty high priority.

But what if the last few days have been an absolute whirlwind and you haven't had time to blink, let alone put things away?

So you have a disaster on your hands--and you have five minutes, ten, fifteen to pick up before you have to do something else.

Do you say to yourself, "I can't possibly get it all done. I'll wait until I can."

I used to say that, a lot. It was part of my perfectionism. If I couldn't sweep AND mop the kitchen floor, there wasn't any point in sweeping, was there?

If I couldn't wash ALL the dishes in one go, (and it is sometimes impossible to do that without a volunteer dish dryer) then why wash any?

If I can't sort and put away all these papers in 15 minutes, why bother?

So, I decided, just for the sake of this blog post, that I'd see how far through this stack of papers 15 minutes would take me. (Believe me, I am never motivated to tackle paper. Never. We'll talk about not having any motivation soon, too.)

Ta Da!

I swear it only took 15 minutes--and not all day as the lighting here would suggest. It just took me that long to get a decent picture.

I sorted out the coupons to clip--and put them in my coupon binder.
I filed some papers right away and put away page protectors.
Anything requiring scheduling, I tucked into my planner.

What's left just needs filing--except that I haven't got files for most of it.

Remember: progress, not perfection.

I see another 15 minutes in my future.

ETA: You can catch all the posts in the series here.    


min hus said...

I often over-estimate how long a simple job I don't wanna do will take. It's always good to have a reminder of how quickly things can go when you're focused!

April of MooreMagnets said...

I do this a lot with my boys - except I set the timer for 10 minutes. It used to be a game for us - and we would be all silly and running around cleaning up as fast as we could ... It worked, and now they realize that 10 minutes isn't that long, and we really do get a lot done. There have been days when we need another 10 minutes ... but they seem to not mind even when we need to do it twice.

However, I too need to make this an every day habit!

onshore said...

I use the timer way too rarely eventhough I know it's effect. It really does wonders, I need to make a habit of doing the 15 min cleanup at least couple times a week.

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