Life Coach Magazine

Making the Most of the Minutes

By Writerinterrupted @writerinterrupt


Making the Most of the Minutes
My greatest challenge in balancing writing time with household responsibilities is avoiding my own tendency toward the all-or-nothing approach. I’ll happily use every available hour to write – except those times when I studiously ignore my manuscript in favor of chores and errands. The problem is that total lack of progress in one priority can leave me lukewarm over breakthroughs in the others. The all-or-nothing approach marries productivity to neglect, as if success was a single-minded pursuit. Though every day brings with it choices of one activity over another, we are multi-faceted by nature. Most of us learn to carve writing time out of busy schedules, and we can maintain our households in a similar way.

Here are some ideas for making the most of the minutes!

If you have one minute, use it for preventative maintenance!

  • Toss today’s junk mail.
  • Take dirty clothes to the laundry area.
  • Wipe down one countertop or sink.
  • Use disinfectant wipes on all knobs, handles, and germ-zones in any one room.
  • Check your calendar. Notice anything missing? Add it now!

Use a five minute break to do the little stuff that adds up.

  • Grab the glass cleaner and clean two mirrors. Use newspaper or coffee filters for lint-free gleam.
  • Dust with both hands. I use retired socks as dust mitts. Slip one on each hand and take a swipe at every surface you see.
  • Top off all household soap dispensers.
  • Portion out snacks, either for kids’ lunches or for your own mid-afternoon munchies.
  • Designate a goodwill box and put one to three things in it. When it’s full, plan a drop-off.
  • Spot vacuum. (This is my favorite method of keeping up after my furry little writing buddies!)
  • Check the fridge and pantry. If you’re low on any staples, add them to the list before they run out.
  • Got something that won’t stay put? Install a Velcro or adhesive hook solution and never think of it again!

In fifteen minutes, take a bite out of a bigger job.

  • Fold one load of laundry.
  • Take all the condiments out of the refrigerator. Pitch any that have expired and return the rest to the fridge.
  • Empty all trash bins, replace the liners, and take out the trash.
  • Designate the time for returning objects to their places. You can move a lot of clutter in fifteen minutes. Enlist kiddos and/or rewards for maximum effectiveness.
  • Set a timer and tackle your file pile. Receipts, bills, rough drafts, notes, correspondence (paper or digital), items to shred, or spreadsheet entries – whatever it is, you don’t need an entire weekend! You can do it in little spurts!

Take thirty minutes and knock out that one thing you’ve been putting off. Whatever it is, get it done!

  • Clean a bathroom from top to bottom.
  • Fix one item that’s been set aside for a while, whether it’s the hot glue project, pants that need mending, or the burned-out light bulb requiring a ladder to access.
  • Clean out the car. Vacuum the carpets, replenish coin trays, refresh the selection in the disc-changer – and then offer to drive someone somewhere!

Get a simple kitchen timer and use it for short productive writing sprints as well as measured pockets of time to knock out chores. Making a habit of short bursts of activity will allow you to rack up healthy home benefits without noticeable impact on your writing time.

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