We have 96 intervals of 15 minutes every day, meaning you have many opportunities to make a difference. Each day this month, I’m giving you a 15-minute project idea. Pick your favorites to improve your day, yourself or your world. I promise you have time for this.
I had a little bit of free time a few days ago and I wanted to watch my favorite binge-TV show: NCIS. Not just one episode, I’d prepared for a 3-hour mini-marathon. But I knew there were things I needed to get done (just like there always are). Try this simple, effective solution to get your mini-projects done.
Make a List of your Mini-Projects. For the first hour of the TV show, I worked on my mini-list of projects I needed to do that could be done quickly and easily for the next few hours. I needed to put groceries away, start our bread machine and tidy the house. All of these projects could be done in little bursts of time. When you need to get a few things done, start with a to do list so you can stay focused on the task(s) at hand.
Maximize Commercial Breaks. For the second hour of my TV show, I got up during every commercial break and worked on one of my tasks for about a minute. It took me 3-4 breaks to put away all of the groceries, but by the end of this hour, I’d finished everything on my list. (and earned more steps with my pedometer. Win. Win. Win.) Make sure your tasks are realistic and can be completed in small amounts of time, you don’t really want to watch the commercials anyway, so make better use of that time by getting something done.
Multi-Task Mindless Projects. Multi-tasking should only really be used for two things that don’t need your full attention. During the third hour of my TV show, I tidied the living room, kitchen and dining room. We’ve also folded laundry while we’ve watched TV and my dad usually does the ironing on Sundays so he can watch sports at the same time. Great idea! When you can watch TV and do something else, you’ll be able to have the best of both–just save your focused time for projects that really matter or need your full attention.
The total time I spent working on other things was about 15 minutes, but when my TV time was over, I’d accomplished my entire to do list and was able to focus on other things. Yes, there are many times that I just want to lay on the couch and watch TV without moving, but when I do have the energy, I make sure I’m maximizing my bonus minutes to get all of my work in progress tasks done.