Sunday, August 14, 2011

Just Give Me 15 Minutes Of Your Time.

I don't waste time. Never. I'm busy every moment.
I'm sure you are.
We all fill our days with things, some worthwhile, some not.
But can we be more efficient and achieve more?

Of course!
I've taken time management classes that had me block 15 minute intervals through the day.
Excellent idea!
It sounds daunting, but it can change your life.

You can eat an elephant one bite at a time and you can accomplish your goals in 15 minute increments.

If you don't have time to read the slew of e-mail, set your timer for 15 minutes, read what you can, and when the bell rings, walk away.
Yes, it's difficult, but it gets easier.
You do not have to do everything. Really.

If you can't find a moment to blog, set the clock and write. When it buzzes, stop.
Do the same tomorrow.
This works well with housework, gardening, returning phone calls, most anything.
Don't put your lover on a timer in the bedroom.
Neither of you will appreciate it.

When you give your self a deadline, you push to accomplish.
That's what we're trying to do here.
Having a critique group makes you finish those pages to be read.
NANO, Write A Novel In 40 Days, and Book In A Month, are all based on this concept.

They work!

People tend to use the time allotted, so tighten your schedule.
Create incentives, deadlines, be accountable to someone.
You've heard it said,
when you want something done, ask a busy person.
Because they have figured this out.
Push yourself to accomplish more in less time.
You'll be amazed how productive you'll become.

This week, try the 15 minute blocks. Write in your journal what you want to get done everyday and then allot time for it. Working in 15 minute segments can become a habit.
1:15-1:30 e-mail
1:30-1:45 laundry
1:45-2:00 write blog
2:00-2:15 outline scene

You get the idea.
Let us know how you do.
I'm excited to hear your success!


  1. Good post, Sandy. I love timers! They make me compete against myself. They keep me honests

  2. Great way of saying, if you don't waste time, time can work for you. I know I get a lot more writing done when the timer is ticking. There are too many times I push the timer, I need to relearn my own goals. Thanks

  3. I got an egg timer a long time ago when Victoria Dahl suggested it. Guess I'll blow of the dust and use it this week.

    By the way, tried to eliminate TV last week. It lasted about an hour before the masses rose up to revolt. Since I was sitting in front of a screen, writing, why couldn't they? Since I wanted to write in peace, they won...

  4. Great post, Sandy! Flylady ( always says, "You can do anything for fifteen minutes," and I'm a true believer.

  5. It's amazing what you can get done when you know a bell is about to "toll." I am among the throngs who work best under deadlines. And the fifteen minutes in the bedroom? So laughing! Loved you life coaching blogs. What's next fabulous friend? How about relaxation techniques when you've blown your 15 minute schedule?

  6. I've been reading SO much lately about managing your time to write and sticking to it - no more excuses - just DO it. THANKS so much for this post. It's just the added incentive I needed.

  7. Another reason to make a change for 15 minutes is because it can keep you from getting carpel tunnel. Because I had so much work to do when I worked as an accounts payable clerk, I never took those coffee breaks. So sorry now. I learned the hard way what not to do. I don't set a timer, but I do get up and find something else to do every so often. It does make a difference and a lot of time the moments away shake the muse up and it works better and/or a new idea pops up.

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  9. I so badly need to do this. I promise to try, but you're right, it sounds daunting.

  10. I love this idea. I tend to do this just not in 15 minute increments. Miss you Sandy.

  11. Deadlines do work. I set a deadline at CRW to have completed 50% of my revision by the next meeting and I am really working on it as I don't want to say I didn't accomplish my goal in front of 50 other writers!
    Thanks for the nudge.

  12. This absolutely works. When I catch myself procrastinating, I set that timer and work on what really needs done for 15 minutes. As Jennette says, you can do anything for 15 minutes. Thanks for writing these Sandy. They really do give me food for thought.

  13. Oh Sandy, I am the queen of time management. NOT. I have had so many people tell me do this or that in 15 mins. I know it works BUT then work takes over.

    Writing is the secondary thing. BUT I don't need to be hit over the head with a dead fish (or maybe I do- that would be quite smelly) to get the point.

    If I don't manage the time, it will manage me. And that is never good. Great post! Thank you :-)

  14. Sandy,
    Another wonderful idea to help us get through our busy days. Now, if only I could think of something to blog about....

  15. This sounded like a super simple concept so I tried it! And it worked! I only played Spider Solitaire for 15 minutes then walked away! And I did that six times (I think I have bigger issues...) But seriously, it did work when I focused on chapter 4, settiing the timer and typing random thoughts until the perfect chapter storyline crystalized! I had been stumbling around aimlessly for two weeks, and in just 15 minutes it all came together. Now I'm off to flesh it out for 15 minutes! Wish me luck!

    Thanks, as always, for the great advice!

  16. Thanks for sharing your comments.
    I gain something every week from the wisdom of this group.

    Love the support and learning.