10 minute blocks of time

Flylady (I can’t stand her tone but I learned a lot while I was there) taught me you can do anything for 15 minutes. Combined with a game she called “Room Rescue”, I learned I could get a LOT done in 15 minutes. (You set a timer for 15 minutes and if everyone cleans with 100% effort in that one room, guilt-free hang out time comes after. It was always amazing to see how much we got accomplished in 15 minutes.)

She also challenged her readers to do a dreaded job and time yourself. She said you’d be shocked to see how little time it takes. My dreaded job was some stuck on shelf liner under our cups. I just knew somehow honey had spilled (we don’t even keep food in that cabinet) and it would take hours. I set the timer and got to work. It turned out the clear liner just seemed to be stuck. It wasn’t stuck at all. It took me 3 minutes to pull everything out, wipe down the liner and replace it all. That taught me a lot.

So today I saw this post from Wait but Why?: 100 blocks of time

It’s a good read. I usually think about time in bigger chunks – morning, after lunch and  evening. Honestly I waste a lot of time.

I kept thinking about 100 blocks of time and wondered how I could grow it? I love to think in terms of growth. Instead I instantly realized what erodes it.

I’m the kind of person who always has a “dreaded task” hanging over my head. The weight of it makes me drag around and move slower. I realized I could designate a ten minute block of time as early as possible to that task and maybe get it over with.

I also realized I drag around every morning until I shower and dress. The earlier I could do it, the quicker I’d have energy and stop wasting my 10 minute blocks. I get so bored getting ready. Another blogger I like posted something she called “Ready in a song”. She challenges herself to do her makeup before her favorite song is over. I think that’s a very cool idea.

I realized the 30 minutes it takes me to shower, dress, do my hair and makeup could be broken up into 3 10 minute blocks. The first could be to shower and dress. Then I could make our breakfast before doing the second (hair and maybe makeup). It probably takes so long because I get so bored and start dragging.

We use Amazon Echo constantly and now I want a device for our bedroom so I can listen to books and/or get ready in a song in the morning.

One thing that helps me grow time is to have a routine and clean things while they are still clean (it goes faster and the job isn’t gross). My biggest routine is to race the coffeepot every morning while I empty the dishwasher. That way everyone knows the dishwasher is for dirty dishes and the kitchen stays nice. I always beat the coffee and the day starts with a big win.

The post I linked to has a printable 100 grid block. It might be fun to color in each block used productively and X out each wasted block. That would be easy to do on a spreadsheet too.

Update: I did play around with a spreadsheet. What worked best for me was to start one colum numbering down from 6 am to 10 pm (we try to sleep from 10 – 6 each night.) I left 6 rows between each number and then decided ahead of time how I would “spend” each row of 10 minutes. I was a lot more productive this morning. I did wind up surfing for 30 minutes but that was a huge improvement.

Here’s a screen shot to give you an idea (wow – this is personal and you can see we slept in but whatever):

6 0 sleep
10 sleep
20 sleep
30 sleep
40 sleep
50 sleep
7 0 sleep
10 sleep
20 clean
30 cook
40 clean
50 Bible/pray
8 0 Bible/pray
10 Bible/pray
20 Bible/pray/texting Kathy to offer to clean her apartment
30 Internet/Money Game
40 Internet/Money Game
50 Carmen’s MLS renewal
9 0 Shower
10 Shopping on line
20 Makeup and dress
30 talked to sister
40 talked to sister
50 talked to sister
10 0 talked to sister
10 surf
20 surf
30 surf
40 wrote blog post, made bank transfer

I guess you can tell that God nudged me to offer a helping hand to a friend who just had surgery. The power of prayer can work two ways – sometimes He helps us and sometimes we are pressed into helping Him. Anyway I made a note of it to remind me to keep my phone with me in case she texts back. I helped her once before and couldn’t believe how much pain she was in post op. Since I’m talking about this, she’s in our small group at church. If you aren’t in a small group, consider checking it out. I don’t know what I’d do without mine. They have encouraged me, prayed for my kids, challenged me and laughed with me. So far we haven’t had to cry together but if that happened, they would be the ones I’d want around me. We eat together once a week taking turns in each other’s homes, study the Bible together, hand out and pray together. Just opening the Bible and reading it with other people has been amazing. We all come from different church backgrounds but share a dislike for “religion” – man’s attempts to be righteous and man’s rules at church. So we read together without any preset church doctrine. We genuinely want to find out for ourselves what the Bible is saying. We’ve bantered some things around that could be interpreted in different ways and the insight we’ve gotten as a group has been helpful.

Another thing that stood out – showering/make up/getting dressed took a full 10 minutes less tracking this way. That’s a big deal to me because I have a lot more energy when I take time to shower and dress. I usually convince myself that it will take too long and this proves me wrong.

It’s actually fun to look ahead at the next ten minutes, decide how you’ll “spend” it and then follow through.




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