The Power of 15 Minutes

The Power of 15 Minutes

The new year always makes me think about how I can be more productive. One of my favorite productivity tools is setting the timer on my phone for 15 minutes. Over the holidays, I wanted to make sure I kept the momentum going on my book. I knew I wouldn’t have big chunks of time to devote to writing, so I committed to writing at least 15 minutes per day (even on Christmas Eve and Christmas!) It worked out great and my 15 minute sessions added up to some worthwhile progress.

Here’s why 15 minutes is so powerful:

* You can get a lot accomplished in 15 minutes. Really. Just try it. Set your timer and clean your house until it goes off. You’ll most likely get more done than you expected.

* It’s easier to keep 100% focus for 15 minutes. If you say you’re going to spend an afternoon writing, you’ll probably spend more of that time than you realize messing around on the internet, getting a snack, checking your phone, etc. If you say you’re going to write for 15 minutes, it’s much easier to do nothing else but write for 15 minutes.

* Ignoring distractions is possible for 15 minutes. It’s not always possible to turn off our phones or lock ourselves in another part of the house for long periods of time. We have friends and family who would worry if they needed to reach us, but it’s not unreasonable to cut off contact with the rest of the world for 15 minutes. Even the biggest worrier probably won’t call the cops if you don’t answer a text in 15 minutes.

* 15 minutes isn’t overwhelming. Committing to only 15 minutes can break through self doubts and fears and help you take the first step on a task.

* It’s easier to carve out 15 minutes than to carve out an hour. We’re all busy. I may not have an hour to get something done before I need to get ready for work or pick my son up from school, but I often have 15 minute increments that could be filled with something more worthwhile than checking my Facebook page.

* 15 minutes usually turns into 20 minutes or 30 minutes or an hour! It turns out that getting started is usually the hardest part, but once I get involved in a project, I usually don’t want to stop.

What could you do for 15 minutes?

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About Julie Jarnagin

Julie Jarnagin is a multi-published author of inspirational romance. She grew up in a small Oklahoma town where her family farmed and ranched. These days she lives in a not-so-big city with her amazing husband and young son who tolerate all her nerdy quirks. Julie earned a B.A. in Journalism / Professional Writing from the University of Oklahoma and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.

6 Responses to The Power of 15 Minutes

  1. Julie, this is such a great strategy. I know there are times when I feel intimidated by the idea of staring at a blinking cursor for an hour, but 15 minutes seems a lot less scary.

  2. Sutton Fox says:

    I tried this today, and you’re right! It’s very powerful. A great way to start the year off with something that will last. Thanks, Julie. 🙂

  3. So glad it helped! I’m hoping this keeps me going after the baby gets here. 🙂

  4. Molly McLain says:

    Julie, this is a great advice! I especially like the last bullet, because there are some days I just can’t get going. But once I make myself sit and work, I pick up momentum pretty quickly. By committing to at least do 15 minutes of writing, I’m almost guaranteed to come up with more. I need to remember this! 🙂

  5. I totally agree with this technique and I’ve been practicing this for almost a year now – it really does work!

  6. Great advice Julie. You are right. Usually the hardest part is getting started and yes distractions play a huge part in that. Ashamed to admit that the distractions are usually within my control (I mean, no one is forcing me to open Facebook). Committing to do it for just a little bit affords you the opportunity to get sucked in and lost in your characters and the story!

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