Things I’m Doing: 15-Minute Bursts


I wasn’t kidding when I wrote yesterday’s blog post. I’m really going to try “15-minute bursts” of creativity and activity and see what that does for my accomplishments and to-do list. It worked great for one day. I didn’t get everything done on my to-do list, but I felt alot less overwhelmed and now, a day later, after accomplishing soooooooo much, I feel super optimistic and a little more realistic about the list.

Interestingly enough, one of my favorite bloggers (The Write Now! Coachwrote something very similar, and I loved it. Must be something in the news that triggered a blog entry about time-management of all of us.

“You may be wondering, ‘How will I ever finish my book this way?”’Yeah, when you have a big goal like writing a book, taking baby steps does sound a bit counterintuitive. Think about it this way. If you wrote just 200 words a day—that’s less than a double-spaced page—you’d have a 73, 000-word book at the end of the year. Wow.” -Rochelle Melander, The Write Now! Coach

New philosophy …when planning a day full of activity and “bursts”, I think I need to be more realistic in defining those bursts. For instance, we can’t put “climb Mt. Everest” on our list and plan to spend 15-minutes doing it, with the assumption that, “hey, if I spend 15-minutes a day climbing toward the peak of Mt. Everest, and not a minute more, eventually I reach the summit.” While technically it’s true, it’s also not something that should be on my list for yesterday or today considering (a) I’m in Michigan, (b) I’ve never climbed anything and don’t have a plan, gear, or expertise, and (c) I have a job, family, and life to live.

The point is, long-term and “big goals” need a separate list.

(7.5 minutes)

If climbing Mt. Everest was my goal, maybe my list would include a bullet-item like, “check-out book on climbing Mt. Everest from my library.” That’s something I can easily do in a 15-minute burst and then I’m inching myself ever closer.

In reviewing my list, did I include a “Mt. Everest” item? Maybe. Maybe trimming the big bush in front of my house was a little over-reaching and was more than a 15-minute job. It took nearly 45-minutes. But ya know what …I couldn’t have stopped at 15-minutes. My front yard would’ve looked like crap. Heck. It took almost 10-minutes to get the ladder, hedge trimmer, saw, lawn/leaf bags, and my extension chord out.

In the end, I felt mega-accomplished and when I sat for a few minutes on my couch last night to watch a little TV, it was more relaxing because I knew I had a full day.

(10 minutes)

1. Write a blog entry on amazing actress friend for MSU Alumni blog

2. Write a blog entry on amazing reality-TV friend for MSU Alumni blog

3. Start writing TV-show pitch starring amazing friend in wheel-chair

4. Spray roof with mildew/mold remover

5. Clean out gutters

6. Clean crud off gutters

7. Finish Bachelorette recap for spunkybean and post.

8. Spend 2-hours writing for my writing/social media clients.

9. Embed Stephen Colbert’s eulogy into a new post for tomorrow.

10. Start planning coffee party.

11. Start planning bowling party.

(14 minutes)

I went back and proof-read this, just now.

(17 minutes).

And the fact I spent two extra minutes on this blog entry doesn’t bother me one bit.

3 Comments on “Things I’m Doing: 15-Minute Bursts

  1. you may want to double check the list on the 15 minute projects, can’t imagine trimming a bush or spraying your roof will really fall under 15 minutes but maybe:) Glad you got stuff checked off the list

  2. yes, well i’m working on making a realistic list. i can’t do much of that stuff because i’m at work, and of course i COULD do all of it, but not on that list is “spend time with my kids on a Friday night.”

  3. Pingback: Things I Wonder: Are 15-Minute Bursts Working? | Kaleidoscopic Raygun

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