Getting ish Done: The Power of Accomplishing Tasks in 15 Minutes

Ever feel like you are racing against the clock? As if there’s never enough time to tackle that never-ending, mountainous to-do list? And just forget about finding time for the fun things you actually want to do. Sometimes life is like watching Groundhogs Day on a continuous loop, over and over again, while spinning on a squeaky hamster wheel.

Laundry. Dishes. Cleaning. Errands. Groceries. Yard work. Doctor Appointments. Holidays. Birthdays. And just when I think the ride is coming to an end….ha! ha!…jokes on me ‘cause somebody gets sick or injured (dear sciatica nerve: I effing HATE you!) or the kiddo has a growth spurt and needs new clothes and shoes. And where’s our can of WD-40 so I can fix that annoying squeak on my hamster wheel?!

I would really appreciate it if life would check in with me prior to throwing these unplanned events into my schedule. And that’s when people say to me, “you have to roll with the punches.” WHAT?!?! Who are these “people” and what does that even mean?!?! I envision tumbling outta control down a steep hill, while bouncing off trees, and getting bruises. Hmmmm…that might sound like somebody’s idea of a good time but certainly not mine. Well…thank you…but I think I’ll pass on “rolling with the punches.”

So when I’m feeling overwhelmed by the fact that I can’t do it all, I commit to doing just one task for 15 minutes. And over time, those 15 minutes become small snowballs that eventually roll into an avalanche. It may seem like 15 minutes is not enough time to accomplish anything, but time is funny like that because it’s all about perspective. Ever try a boot camp class at the gym? 15 minutes is an eeeternityyyyy! It’s like time stands still in those classes.

So eat that elephant, I mean chocolate bunny, one bite at a time (starting with the ears of course). Progress may seem slow at first but over time all those 15 minutes add up. Think of it this way. If you want to lose weight and try to shed 1lb a week, after a year, you’ll be 50lbs lighter. 1lb = snowball. 50lbs = avalanche.

Here are a few tasks that can be tackled in 15 minutes or less:

  • Fold and put away one load of laundry
  • Unpack one box
  • Empty and load the dishwasher
  • Vacuum
  • Clean one bathroom
  • Take a walk/exercise
  • Declutter a closet
  • Purge/sort/donate toys, clothing, etc

Remember that the key to getting from point A to point B (i.e. getting ish done) is patience. And plan for those life detours because there’s always going to be construction and traffic.

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