As a teacher I learned early on that fifteen minutes was as long as an activity should possibly last. It didn’t matter if I was facilitating preschoolers or post graduates, if I wanted engagement the activity had to last less than 15 minutes. I believed they could read for extended times or study at home, but time in school was for learning! The same has proven true for my training adults, myself, or working for meaningful moments in getting things done. Just 15 minutes of focused work can make a world of difference in the outcomes of the day!
I use a timer to verify the time I spend on tasks, efforts, and outcomes. You see if the subject is cleaning the kitchen, my mind tells me it’s going to take 1,047 years to load and unload the dishwasher, but the timer tells me it takes less than 7. My blog posts feel like they happen in 3 minutes, but in reality it takes more like 23 minutes. The timer keeps me honest.
Fifteen minutes of focused conversation on just ONE area of a business can bring a team to a new productivity level and meetings resolve with decisions made. The interruptors to our thinking, our doing, our attention are everywhere, but 15 minutes of focused activity can make all the difference when done consistently.
As a strategist I often share with clients that their day should begin with 15 minutes of focused review of their goals for the day, the goals they set for the week and then the reasons, the whys they do the work they do. I’ve noted for years that those who do just that…begin their day with the concept of 15 focused minutes to align their day within weeks begin to see more productivity as they realign their capabilities, let go of that which doesn’t serve them, and become more realistic about what and how they can achieve their goals.
On Mondays at my blog, Sweetieland.me, I do a #15minutemiracle for an hour. We invite others to focus for 15 on the tasks they’ve been avoiding or need to get done. We encourage before and after pictures when the work is physical or organizational. You will be amazed how much you can get accomplished in 15 minutes! By the way, the last 15 minutes of that hour? We celebrate with self care. Each person chooses 15 minutes of what makes their day better and makes it happen! Isn’t it a truth, that when we take care of ourselves and reward the hard work we come closer to living the life we sought to? I know it’s true for me.
I hope you’ll join us this Monday and start some momentum in your day with a #15minutemiracle!