Thursday, October 31, 2013

The 5 Minute challenge

Ah! Late autumn! I love it! The garden has died down; the milk production has slowed; there’s time to think and to catch up on all those things I have no time for in the summer.
            One of about 1,000 possible projects that came to my mind after the first frost was, “Time to start blogging again.” But what to write about? My big problem was not lack of possible subject matter, but too much.
            As I was going about the kitchen doing “5 minute challenges” I thought “Why not write about ‘5 minute challenges’, my favorite house cleaning technique?” The idea for 5 minute challenges came about one day when I was too tired to think, and the kitchen was a total mess. I decide to set the timer for five minutes and clean just one section of counter top until the timer went off. As soon as it went off, I quit working in that area whether I was finished or not. I reset the timer and moved onto cleaning the next section. The technique worked marvelously, so much so, that I now use it often.
            There are three main reasons that it works for me. First of all, time is short. I seldom have a long enough stretch of time to tackle whole projects, but five minute increments are easier to find. Setting the timer helps make sure those precious spare moments don’t go off into space. Second, setting the timer aids focus.  When I am running about from one task to the next I am rarely as effective as I could be.  Third, setting the timer prevents perfectionism from taking me away from something that I could have accomplished if I hadn’t got hung up on some little detail. For example there are times I could have gotten the whole house reasonably decent looking, but most of it iwas still in shambles because I decided to scrub the floor instead of just sweeping.
            The idea goes for more than just cleaning. I decided as an experiment to use the idea for writing this blog. It took more than five minutes to write it altogether. But breaking it down, and writing it under a time limit means that it is now in my computer and not still in my head with those 1,000 other possible blog topics.

            Can you use the idea to help you meet one of your goals this week?