15 minute tasks #bebetter52

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How many times have you had a task you just keep putting off? Mark Twain once said, "If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first." Twain was referring to those tasks we all tend to procrastinate, the ones we hate doing and continue to nag at us until-- the bill goes past due, the laundry piles up, or the dirty dishes take over the sink. It's best to do those tasks first thing rather than put them off all day and fret about eating the frog.

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This week's #bebetter52 challenge centers on "15 minute tasks," where you dedicate 15 minutes in your day to tackling a task, ideally in the morning. It might be something as simple as folding the laundry, or it could be a grand task like planning a vacation.

How to utilize your 15 minutes:

  • Set aside 15 minutes each morning (or afternoon, or evening, whatever ends up working) and tackle a nagging task.

  • Set a timer or watch the clock, and as soon as the 15 minutes is over, stop the task.

  • You may be willing to continue working on the task after 15 minutes. If so, continue to add 15 minute increments until the task completion is where you are satisfied.  

  • Break up larger goals into smaller tasks that are more doable in 15 minutes or less. For example, instead of the larger goal to plan a party, break it down into "plan the menu,""pick decorations," "pick cake,""make list of needed ingredients." These smaller tasks can help you reach your goal without being overwhelming.

Another way to think of it is to "suffer for 15 minutes," like Gretchen Rubin mentions in her book Happier at Home.  The goal is to choose a task that's been weighing you down and take 15 minutes to lighten that burden! Remember, don’t waste 15 minutes making excuses for not doing the task when you might be able to complete the task or at least made significant progress to pick up the following day.