The Other F Word

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FocusHow many times have you said to others (children and spouses in particular), “If you had just sat down and did it, you would have been done already?!!?!”  Or “Just focus and get it done!”

Yet, if you are like me, you are guilty of the same lack of focus on a regular basis.  I will let tidiness go…emails pile up…posts linger in my head and never get them down on paper (or screen as it were).  And why?  Because some stuff isn’t that fun to do.  And everything requires some amount of effort.  And to be honest, some days, I’m “effortless” and not in the easy, carefree kind of way.

I  say to my clients all of the time, “I don’t need more time, I just need a deadline.”  So they draw a line in the sand and I am held to it.

So the only way that I’ve found that helps me focus and sets immediate deadlines for myself is my timer.  I’ve talked about this before.  Yes, I have a timer addiction, but in my defense, some vices do serve!

So all day long I set my timer for varying increments to assure that I have a sense of urgency, but it also gives the task an end or a break.  It’s built on the concept of “I can do anything for 25 minutes.”

When I’m working, I set one timer for 25 minutes and I have to work heads down without checking email, FB, answering texts and/or emails and just focus on the task at hand for that time.  Then when the timer goes off, I have another timer (do not judge me!) that is set for five minutes.  For those minutes I make myself leave my desk and grab a tea, water, straighten up the living room, make my bed, take something out for dinner, etc.  When that timer goes off, I’m back at the computer to either spend another 25 minutes on that task, or move to something else if completed.

When I’m doing my batch cooking on Sundays—I love me some Sunday Cookingpalooza, I set the timer for 15 minutes.  I spend 15 minutes in the kitchen and then 15 minutes cleaning—repeat, repeat, repeat.

It’s AMAZING what you can get done in 15 minutes when you put your mind to it.  Which is the entire premise of our monthly challenges.  Take that gargantuan task and chunk it into tiny pebbles and chip away at it a bit each day.


You know in your heart of hearts this works.  You preach it all the time to others.  Now it’s time to put it into action for yourself!


  1. Sally Larsen

    GREAT ideas and I sooo needed this! I will try the timer for my work, then emails, then work, repeat, repeat. Never thought of it that way! Thank you!!

    • JennessaJennessa

      I’m so glad you like it Sally! I think that I’m inherently a bit ADD…so it helps spice things up and yet helps me get it done!

  2. Mary Ellen

    I am sitting at work, needing to work on a file I have done my best to ignore for several months. It is to the point it is causing me great anxiety. No doubt that 25 minutes of attention would take care of everything. Guess I need to bring a timer to work.

  3. Brilliant read as always…Jennessa, my dear, you have such a brilliant way to bring useful helpers and life savers to me via your emails…thank you so very much for your emails and for you!!!

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