We all have to have our vices right? Let’s not discuss my addictions to anything peanut butter and Venti Decaf Non-Fat Lattes, which I realize is about 20 ounces of nothing! And don’t even get me started about mashed potatoes. But food aside, I have an unreasonable dependency on my timer.
If you are not already familiar with “The FLY Lady” you need to check her out. It’s all her fault! I’ve been following this website for years and the premise is that many of us (yes me) suffer from perfectionism and as a result do nothing. If I don’t have the perfect cleaner, then I’m not going to wash my floors; if I don’t have all day to clean, I won’t clean anything; if the stars and moons aren’t aligned, then it’s not worth doing. She preaches that you can do anything for 15 minutes and slowly chip away at what is bogged down in your life. It makes you focus on what is at hand and not get sidetracked by “shiny objects”.
And for me…it works.
Pam (the nanny) will attest that she can hear my timer go off every 15 minutes all day long. I work in 15 minute increments and I make myself focus for those 15 minutes on the task at hand, i.e. writing this post, designing a new mailer, calling venues, etc. I then take a breath when it goes off, I reset it, focus on a new task or continue with the one that I’m doing and then repeat, repeat, and then repeat again.
I use this at work and at home. I clean the house in 15 minute increments. My house is size challenged, so I can dust every surface in my house in 15 minutes. I can vacuum it in 15 minutes, etc. On Sundays when I’m doing my “cookingpaloozas” I do the entire process in 15 minute increments. I cook for 15 minutes—make a fruit salad, make salads in a jar, marinate all of the meats, etc. and then clean for 15 minutes—fold a load of laundry, dust, sweep the floors, put away toys, etc. For me it breaks up the daunting day of “home making” and keeps me focused.
Now that you think I’m completely insane…set the timer on your microwave and try it!