Thursday, September 13, 2007

Fifteen minute rule

Some of the best advice for a mother is Elisabeth Elliot's admonishment to "do the next thing". I've said it to myself countless times in a busy day.

Recently, I've taken on the saying: "You Can Do Anything In Fifteen Minutes!". I've linked to this before, but it's worth re-reading again.

Fifteen minutes....

~Keeping tedious phonics lessons at FIFTEEN minutes. That way frustration for child (and mama) is less likely to happen. Focused learning also takes place.

~To hold a child on your lap, loving them with touch.

~Reading scripture in the morning. (By yourself, or with children.)

~A quick clean up around the house. "Let's clean for FIFTEEN minutes!"

~Spending some time on a project you've been wanting (or not wanting!) to accomplish. (My closet is a mess.)

~Asking a teen about her day. Focused listening. You can make time for FIFTEEN minutes.

~Exercise. FIFTEEN minutes is a great start. Walk, stretch, whatever, for FIFTEEN minutes.

I recently purchased the Fly Lady Timer to help with this "FIFTEEN minute rule". Of course, you can use any sort of timer, but I like that it only goes up to FIFTEEN minutes. No temptation to do more than you can. *smile*

What else could you accomplish in FIFTEEN minutes?


Miriam said...

This is great for me to ponder... thanks, Andrea. :)

I've been trying to do room blessings (I think this is a Fly Lady concept?) in nooks and crannies of my day - pick a room and tidy, clean, whatever needs to be done, all the while praying. :)

fifteen minutes...
I can mix up some simple peanut butter cookie dough and put it in the fridge to be baked later.

I can swing on the front porch with my baby - I guess that would fit under your "give a child a loving touch".

I can cut up some veggies to have healthy snacks on hand.

Jana said...

I use this concept, too. I actually use it to LIMIT certain things - like computer time. But, some of the things that amaze me most that I can get them done in 15 minutes OR LESS are: cleaning the shelves in the fridge, cleaning the drawers in the fridge, cleaning the microwave, wiping down all the bathroom counters and toilets, making phone calls like setting up appointments, filing bills, reading to the kids, writing a blog post, putting a meal in the slow cooker, playing soccer in the yard with the kids... the list goes on.

Sara said...

Andrea...sometimes I think you and I were separated at birth :) We are so alike.

I LOVE that saying by EE...and use it all the time as well. It kind of becomes my mantra on a hard day...often getting switched up with "pick up the next thing" :) when I am cleaning. It definitely helps me focus.

Let's see...I can clean my entire house/RV AND scrub all of my floors in 15 minutes.

I can sit down to write a letter to a friend and encourage them in 15 minutes.

I can call my grandmother, who lives alone and needs someone to talk to, for 15 minutes.

I can focus on my husband for 15 him a backrub or REALLY listening to his thoughts/ideas.

Jennifer, Snapshot said...

This IS great advice. I think I will start using my timer again. It often gives me the push to get started, and I don't mind immediately resetting it for 15 more once I get going!

Andrea said...

I use that concept too, with the 15 limit myself...that's why the Fly Lady one is great, it *forces* you to only do it for 15 min, because the timer only goes *up* to fifteen minutes!!

Beck said...

Great post - I like the idea of focusing on each kid exclusively for 15 minutes. And the 15 minute family clean-up. Smart!

Mrs. "M" said...

Great post. "Do the Next Thing" is one my motto's. Especially on those days when I don't want to do anything :o)The 15 minute thing is good too....I'll have to try that one.

Brenda said...

My Fly Lady timer bought the farm during our move last year, but I really liked it when I had one.

I was ALWAYS surprised that I would finish the "horrible long job I had been avoiding" only to find out I still had 7 MINUTES left!!! Now why was I avoiding that?

And, it makes you race the clock, which can kind of be fun.

Mary Brooke said...

Can you explain Mrs. Eliot's "Do the next thing" idea? Do you mean *just keep going on to the next thing* here I am, serving you Lord (repetitive tasks).

I hear about the "you can do anything in 15 minutes", but it's hard when I am already up to my neck with the basics. But I guess the basics can be on hold in order to organize something, etc. I *love* organization.

What I read here (I think) that is so important to me, is making "heart investments" in my children's hearts....focused attention on their play, snuggling, coming alongside me in the kitchen.

Nice post...I would like to hear what you mean about "moving on to the next thing".
thanks! Mary Brooke

Elisabeth said...

Yes, 15 minutes is very doable. Even 5 minutes, but so many times we think we just don't have time even for that.

Thanks for the encouragement. I really enjoy your blog.


e-Mom said...

Wisdom. Perfection. We all have 15 minutes to spare, especially for the most onerous of tasks. Elisabeth Elliot does it again! Hugs, e-Mom

Holly said...

A nap! A nap! :)

Mindy said...

This is a great thought! It has really helped me the past couple of days. I even took it a step further with, "I can do anything for 2 weeks." I started the south beach diet, which calls for a two week detox basically and I keep telling myself, "I can do anything for 2 weeks!" It's helped and I have lost 6 pounds in 6 days!! So, Thank You!!