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Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Value of 15 Minutes

If you're like most stay home moms, you probably have to leave several things undone each day simply because you don't have the time. Or perhaps you are waiting for a large chunk of uninterrupted time to tackle a big task.

A few years ago, I learned about the value of using small fragments of time productively, rather than just letting them slip away. Instead of thinking in larger time slots of an hour or more, I began focusing on 15 minute time slots. Although 15 minutes may not seem like much, you'll be surprised at how quickly it can all add up.

Here are 5 tips for getting the most out of your 15 minute time fragments.

1. If you're always late getting out of the door in the mornings, set the alarm 15 minutes earlier to give you more time to get ready and to eat breakfast. You'll be amazed at what a difference 15 minutes can make to your day.

2. Is your house cluttered and you don't know where to start? De-clutter in 15 minute segments. Set the timer and sort/organize the top of a desk, drawer or shelf. Use 15 minutes between other appointments or other tasks to de-clutter and organize your home. After a few days or weeks of de-cluttering in 15 minute segments, you'll be surprised at how much better your home looks.

3. Take 15 minutes to plan your menus for the week. Then take another 15 minutes to create your grocery list. This will reduce the amount of trips you have to make to the grocery store and you won't open the freezer at 4:30pm wondering what on earth you can make for supper tonight.

4. Spend 15 minutes each morning or evening creating a to-do list and prioritizing it in order of importance. The during the day, take a few minutes more to check your to-do list and cross off tasks that have been completed and adjust or add other tasks if necessary.

Three Steps to Time Management for the Single Mom workbook (1-2-3 ... Get Organized series)

5. Spend 15 minutes tidying up at night before you go to bed. It's so much more pleasant to wake up to a tidy home instead of one looking as if it's been hit by a bomb-shell.
Three Steps to Time Management for the Working Mom workbook (1-2-3 ... Get Organized series)

So there you have it. 5 tips for making the most of 15 minute segments that pop up during your day. Put them into practice and your friends will soon be asking you how you manage to get it all done.

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