Saturday, August 02, 2008

The Power of 15 Minutes

I'm often asked how I "get it all done". Just as often as I'm asked, I respond, "I DON'T do it all!"

Catch that key before we proceed. None of us can possibly participate in EVERY opportunity that presents itself. I have made deliberate choices about how to invest my time. You have too.

There is, however, one little secret that does help me corral the chores, school, children, play time et al. The Power of 15 minutes! I believe this trick will work for you if you are single as well as if you are the Mom of a Super Sized family.

I first learned this concept YEARS ago when I began to read work by Charlotte Mason. Charlotte believed that young children learn best with short lessons. She recommended 15 minutes. At the end of that time you do something different...not necessarily recess...doing anything different for 15 minutes let's your brain "rest". This worked well in our school.....

The Power of 15 Minutes began to spread into other areas of our home life. I experimented. Several times during the day we have "15 minute pick ups". I pop in to blog for 15 minutes. I check email in 15 minutes. I go play for 15 minutes. I can begin a devotional in 15 minutes. I can clean a bathroom in 15 minutes. Most parts of a house can be cleaned in 15 minutes come to think of it. I can make a salad in 15 minutes, grind the wheat for using during the next break..... Our phonics, math, writing lessons are kept to 15 minutes.

Charlotte explains better than I that if you train yourself and your children to give something full attention you can accomplish more in a shorter period of time. You train yourself to be diligent and not to dwaddle.

Try it - it's worked well for us. (One more thing off my to do list - done in 15 minutes).

*Disclaimer - I've not read Emilie Barnes' 15 minute books (though I have one I'm currently planning to read) but I bet she mirrors Charlotte's thoughts.

*There are many wonderful Charlotte Mason sites out it.

*The series I first read about the Charlotte Mason method is by Charlotte, herself. The Original Homeschooling Series. I've since read many wonderful books about the method. I should corral a list of sites and books....but not until after vacation. ::snort::

More Super Size Saturday entries!

©2008 D.R.G.


Unknown said...

So true. Every minute counts, and often it takes very little time to accomplish small tasks. Added up, it makes for a very productive day!

Cynthia said...

We do a variation of that. I don't have many things that can really be done in 15 minutes, but we can do 1/2 hour of this and then move to 1/2 an hour of that.. which usually even gives me time to dig into a payroll or some other business detail I need to tend to, etc.

Here I thought, because of the first sentence where you say, "I don't do it all", you were going to talk about something I learned from you a LONG time ago.. that *you* don't do it all and that you don't do anything that someone else can do. That has been an absolute life saver for me over the years! Perhaps that can be another blog entry one day when you get back!