29 Apr What can you do in 15 minutes? Time management ideas for women
Time Management is such a buzz word and one which can make you anxious or excited. I’ve been on a time blocking experiment this past week myself because to be honest I have not been making good use of my time. Going from a structured corporate job to working full time for myself has thrown my days into disarray.
It’s taken me 12 weeks to realise this.
I thought I was going along swimmingly, waking early to exercise, then sneaking some work in until my daughter woke, then we’d have breakfast together, she’d go to care, I’d go for a run or walk the dog to then start my official work day about 9am.
Although I felt like I was getting things done, I didn’t feel accomplished or fulfilled. I felt rushed and unproductive. And worst still, I felt like I returned to that robot like state I was living not so long ago post maternity leave.
A couple of weeks ago, the full force of this burden rested on me and woke me during the night with a literal thud in my upper back. I felt so restricted, in pain and like I was suffocating by my to-do list.
It was in that moment, I knew it was time to change. I couldn’t live the life I was living before I started working for myself, I couldn’t! My circumstances are different now and I needed to adjust to a new time regime so that I am working productively but most of all healthily.
So, I adopted the idea of working or doing activities in 15 minute blocks which I have named 15 minutes of wonder.
What does any learning geek do? She researches to see what others have done. I came across a book title The Power of a Half Hour and I listened to it, but I thought to myself 30 minutes can be a long time for a busy mum. I discovered leadership coach, Jason Womack who describes his success of breaking up his day into 96 15 minute blocks.
And I thought I’ve got to try this for myself. As Womack recommends, I made a list of all of the things I could do in 15 minutes. Because the last thing you want to do when you have 15 minutes is think about all of the things you could be doing.
Now 15 minutes doesn’t seem like a long time, but when you give yourself 15 minutes to do a task of activity you can actually get quite a bit done in that short time.
Below are some of my ideas on what you could do in 15 minutes:
Do a workout – I use the Nike Training Club app for my home workout sessions and there are heaps of 15 minute workouts which are perfect when you have only 15 minutes. If you have two or three 15 minute blocks of time in your day, you could do a few workouts.
Take a walk – as a dog owner, I am out walking my girl daily. This can be tiresome but rather than trying to fit in a 1 hour walk in the morning, I’ll break it up into 15 minute blocks – one in the morning and one in the afternoon.
Make a healthy snack – I love baking and I especially love baking healthy snacks and the quick and easy ones at that. I will allocate 15 minutes on a Sunday to make at least one snack. Now of course baking time is longer than that but the preparation to bring it together takes only 15 minutes and I’ve got snacking goodness for the week.
Meditate – This can be a tricky one for beginners. I used to think the same thing that stopping for 15 minutes to meditate would be impossible. But once you build up your practise and ability giving 15 minutes to this life changing practise is totally possible. Try my go to meditation app Insight Timer for short and long meditations.
Do my passion or hobby – As a busy mum, finding time to do your hobby or passion can be challenging and it is usually the perceived lack of time that stops us from doing it. But keep your passion alive by partaking in it for 15 minutes at a time.
Learn something new – I am a learning geek! I love it. With so many options available on the net you can easily find 15 minutes to watch a Ted Talk, learn on LinkedIn Lynda, listen to a podcast or read a blog. According to Natalie Sisson, Learning something new will make you happier, grow as a person and improve your learning ability.
I personally think the most important thing you could do in 15 minutes is to simply enjoy some me time whether that’s sitting down to have breakfast or lunch, having a coffee or smoothie, reading a magazine, getting some air outside, cuddling your family or just stopping for 15 minutes uninterrupted. The benefits of making not finding 15 minutes of me time are profound and extremely important for your health, wellbeing, vitality and luck.
If you would like to manage your time effectively one of my coaching programs may help you.
Or take my FREE 5 Day Challenge, 15 Minutes of Me Time and try it for yourself. The 5 day challenge starts May 14th.
Register your details here.