Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Just 15 minutes

Life has been busy.  It's busy for everyone.  I find when I get busy I have to let some things go, and keeping up with this blog is always one of them.  Today I'm rethinking that...

It's 7:53.

Today is Slice of Life.  In March I joined the month long challenge once again.  After March was over I decided I was going to try to continue with the Tuesday Slice of Life posts.  I did really well for awhile; writing a slice, reading at least three, and then leaving comments.  Soon I didn't have time to write and would stop by a few posts to comment.  Then I was reading a few and not leaving a comment.  Then it just seemed hard to keep up.  I've missed this weekly community so today I've decided I'm going to find time for this post.  I've decided all I need is 15 minutes.

You see, recently at a writing retreat Brenda Power has had me rethinking productivity.  She's caused me to pause and rethink writing time a bit.  I've always felt I need a large block of time to write, but maybe sometimes 15 minutes is all I really need.  She talked a lot about the power of just finding small pockets of time to write.  It was something to think about.

It wasn't long until this idea was reinforced by Ruth Ayres when she visited Central Ohio recently and spoke with Literacy Connection participants.  She gave us two different writing time periods less than 15 minutes.  It was interesting to see how much could really be accomplished in less than fifteen minutes.  I realize how many times ideas slip through my fingers because I don't take time to write.

So I've been rethinking 15 minutes.  Yes, I've been rethinking writing time, but also a lot of things I have a hard time finding enough time to do.  I've started keeping a list of things I can do in 15 minutes.  When I find myself with a few minutes I just look at the list.  I've also started trying to find 15 minutes to write quickly.

In 15 minutes I can:

  • take time for a 15 minute clean (This is my new favorite.  I just set a timer and clean as much as I can in 15 minutes...it's a lot less of a commitment.)
  • clean off my dresser
  • complete a quick write about an idea so it is ready for my return 
  • jot a quick poem
  • make a list 
  • go through the dreaded mail stack
  • put dishes in the dishwasher
  • fold a load of clothes
  • scan my Twitter feed
  • read a few blog posts
  • clean out my car
  • read a few Slice of Life posts
It's 8:08.  My 15 minutes are up.  

What do you find you can do in just 15 minutes?  


  1. Great reminder! Going to challenge myself to find my 15 each day for at least a week!

  2. I agree - I came away from the retreat with the idea that I often put off writing because I don't have enough time. 15 minutes is a great start.

  3. You are so right! 15 minutes is a great writing start, just as it is a great amount of time to clear off the table, look through a pile of "school papers" or even read a book! I have noticed this school year that if I do those things, even for just a few minutes, I feel better at the end of my time. Like I really accomplished something, even if it's a little thing.

  4. What a great reminder! 15 minutes is a manageable way to think about doing more writing. Will try it, starting tomorrow. Thanks, Cathy.

  5. I'm glad you are getting back to writing, even if it is only for 15 minutes. Small pockets of time add up quickly. I'll be looking for those moments to be productive.

  6. I have the same timer app but haven't used it yet. I did set another circle timer app for my daughter to clean her bedroom floor the other day. Writing can be quicker depending on the purpose and audience. I've found myself thinking blogging shorter pieces and staying connect might matter most and help build the community and relationships we love about this process.

  7. I need to practice the 15 minute cleaning operation. In another 15 minutes I can do the dishes and make my lunch for the next day. I might even have time to tidy the counters.

  8. I do things faster if I time myself, Cathy. You are right-15 minutes can accomplish much, especially if it's things like dusting. That's about all I can take of that! Sometimes playing music helps me get through the tasks I don't want to do, then more time for the good stuff! Nice ideas all!

  9. Love the idea of fifteen minutes of cleaning! Or writing! That seems much more manageable than thinking about doing the whole thing!

  10. Such a small amount of time to invest in something so big. I so appreciate your sharing your reflective thinking on this Cathy.

  11. Such an important reminder. I am all about the 15 minute cleaning! But this weekend I really have to attend to a bit more detail in that area!1

  12. Such powerful advice! Love the idea of 15 minutes. Thank you for giving me more to think about . . . this can apply with students too!

  13. I love writing. I have enjoyed writing since I was in elementary school but I'm really recognizing more and more just how much I enjoy it and how much it feeds me. I love this idea of 15 minutes! Thanks so much for sharing. I have committed to the Slice of Life now since the summer and I absolutely love it. I live for it! I'm excited to start the Saturday Celebrations with Ruth, too. Happy writing to you!

  14. Very inspiring observation. We can do it 15 minutes at a time.


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