Overwhelmed? Distracted? My 15-minute plan to increase productivity plus lose that belly fat

I lied about the belly fat. But not about my 15-minute plan. Here’s the deal. Right now I have a lot of work to do and much of it is not that interesting. Motivation is low. So, when work gets like this, I jot every item down on sheet of scrap paper, set my stop watch, and spend 15 minutes on each thing. 15 minutes is enough time to make progress and you feel productive when you can cross stuff off a list. That’s it. Clocking out…

4 Responses to “Overwhelmed? Distracted? My 15-minute plan to increase productivity plus lose that belly fat”

  1. etselec said:

    Mar 13, 09 at 10:42 am

    What do you do if you have 27 items on the URGENT section of your TO-DO list, all of which take a hell of a lot longer than 15 minutes to do?

  2. essprit said:

    Mar 13, 09 at 2:35 pm

    I’ve used a variation of this technique for a long time. All it requires is a timer. For a big long involved project, I make myself focus for set intervals (much longer than 15-20 mins at a time not effective for me unless I’m really relaxed). Then I give myself a 5 minute break, also timed. Then back on to the next round. For your situation, etselec, I might focus on one topic with several iterations, or pick 5 and rotate through a couple of times. It’s also good for housework. The timer goddess helps me get stuff done. 😉

    (I must say – when I first started doing this a few years back, it was a scary glimpse into just how fragmented my attention span had gotten. 15 minutes was really hard!)

  3. admin said:

    Mar 13, 09 at 5:06 pm

    Essprit, if you and I were cube buddies it would be a Scary Thing.

    Etselec, you have to start somewhere! You really can only do one thing at a time. The point is that doing something is better than freaking out and doing nothing….Just Do One Thing

    My super secret strategy is to have something on this list that’s incredibly heinous but which really doesn’t matter too much if it gets done. I find that I can accomplish all sorts of other things if I believe I’m avoiding something else. So, for example, I have “write an Educause Quarterly proposal on assessing costs of your services.” I can pretty much accomplish anything if it means I get to avoid that.

  4. essprit said:

    Mar 13, 09 at 8:16 pm

    @admin – I don’t inflict my timers on anyone, I promise!

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