15 minutes is a beautiful thing. Not following? Well let me explain. The day gets very full very fast! It can take unexpected turns (the THIRD change of pants for the toilet learner was a bit of a surprise this morning!) and it is so easy to get side tracked. Jobs get so huge I have no idea where to start. So I set the trusty timer for 15 minutes (just like FlyLady!) and tackle either the job I least want to do, or the Next Thing on the list. Because there is an end in sight, I stay focused and on task and usually amaze myself with what I get finished. If it doesn't get completely finished, that's OK, because I have made more progress than if I had never started. I simply move on to the next thing and leave the rest for a day that is a little less challenging.
15 minutes also comes in handy with school work. It is often tempting to skip this time when things get hectic, but then I think "surely I can spare 30 minutes!". So we stop and spend 15 minutes together working on something (usually her Maths first) and finish off when the timer goes. We don't stress if we haven't finished the page, we will get back to it next time, and we don't push on until she gets bored or until we reach some arbitrary goal. We always close the book looking forward to getting back to it. We then move on to doing something else for 15 minutes (at the moment we are making alphabet mini-books which I printed free from the 'net). Again we put it away LOOKING FORWARD to next time because of the beauty of 15 minutes. Our focus is doing our best and because we spend a short time, it is easy to stay focused rather than slipping into the glazed over eyes so common in the average classroom (I talk more about this in an old post Homeschooling and the Pre-schooler)
I have a friend who finds even 15 minutes of committing to something a bit overwhelming, so she has cut it down to 7.5 minutes! The principle works the same.
When I am overwhelmed I set that timer and stick with it, doing my best work for 15 minutes. It is amazing what gets done! I need to go and set my timer for 15 minutes now and tackle the washing!
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