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?