by Lisa Davis
Ever heard the expression “biting off more than you can chew?” Well, it’s a thing. It’s a real thing. Being overwhelmed or in over-your-head is more common than we like to admit. Let us help you imagine it; picture having eight kids and they all need your attention at the exact same time as if the world rest entirely on their particular issue. Get our drift?
There is only one way to work through your toughest, longest, most challenging day – 15 minutes at a time. Stay Stranded would like to introduce what we call the 15 minute work day! Before you stop reading and tell your boss you are now only working 15 minutes every day, let us explain. To increase productivity and efficiency you have to learn to manage 15 minutes first. How hard can this possibly be? Don’t ask, because you might find out.
Seriously, breaking big daunting tasks into small manageable ones is how success starts. Will Smith once said that you don’t start off building a wall. Instead, you start off laying one brick as perfectly as possible. Then you lay a second brick as perfectly as possible and pretty soon, you have a wall. In order to do this, you have to focus on the task at hand. You have to know what is essential by prioritizing and then, focusing.
This will work for anything from naps or relaxation, weeding in the yard, playing with your kids, studying, meditation, spending time with a loved one, taking a walk, reading, etc. Simply focus for 15 minutes. If you find yourself getting distracted, then start over. The first week will be quite overwhelming, the second week may feel nearly impossible, if you can get through the third week with just focusing for 15 minutes at a time it will change your life and you will be able to accomplish more than you could ever imagine. Watch your thoughts, don’t worry about the beeps or buzzes or alerts or anything else. Just focus on the task at hand.
We know this is harder than it sounds, but it is so worth it. It is amazing what a human being can accomplish in that seemingly insignificant length of time. What is even more amazing is the amount of time a human being can waste in the course of one day, a simple 24 hour period. You have to give this a try. Take a normal routine day and write down everything you do and how long you spend doing it. All kidding aside, be truthful. Even if no one else ever sees this confession, you will. Tasks that should take seconds or minutes, take an hour or more. Breaks, naps, and lunches all drag on for sometimes double what they should be. The term power nap was coined for a reason! For all our binge watching followers, one episode turns into four. Googling an answer turns into an hour long sidetracked internet adventure which ends with you getting an Amazon package at your doorstep two days later. It’s so true!
Let’s break it down, literally (and no, we aren’t going to dance). An eight hour day is equal to 32 – 15 minute tasks. This means you can accomplish 32 tasks in a single workday! Wow, that’s a lot! So, use that timer and get to work. Using bite-size chunks of time, you can increase your productivity tenfold. Remember, don’t get overwhelmed; it’s only 15 minutes. It just so happens that multiple 15 minute increments create a day, week, month, etc.
So here it is; we dare you! We double dare you! We triple dog dare you! (Is that even a thing?) Start today. Decide what you are going to work on. Set a timer and go to work. If you get side tracked, start over. Practice every day (maybe even twice a day). The more you practice, the better you will get at focusing your attention for the full 15 minutes. After three weeks, tell us your results. We are convinced you will be thrilled with your new productivity and efficiency. Who knows, maybe you can convince your boss to let you work during your 15 minute break and then take the rest of the day off! No promises there :). Stay Stranded!