15 Minutes and Out

15minutesOne thing I’ve come to believe in lately is the power of 15 minutes. When I taught private trumpet lessons years ago, I told my students that even practicing for 15 minutes a day was better than nothing. Ironically, at the time, I didn’t believe that rule for myself—I had to practice at least an hour a day or it wasn’t any good—but I saw the benefit for them every week they came to my studio. Kids that even practiced a little every day did better than those that practiced once or twice for longer periods of time.

Today, I often have excuses for not doing things, including things that are good for me, and probably the number one excuse I have is “there’s not enough time.” But what I’ve learned is that no matter what it is, just spending 15 minutes on it will be beneficial. Of course not everything can get done in 15 minutes, but I’ve been surprised on what I can accomplish in 15-minute intervals.

This evening I practiced picking up the phone and asking a friend for help. I was all wound up before our talk, and after 15 minutes, my sanity had been restored. I often say I don’t have time for breaks during the day, but I can’t think of a single project at work that hasn’t gotten done because I took 15 minutes to sit in the sun outside or visit with my kids. This blog post is a perfect example, too. It’s late. I’m tired. I’m only four days into this #nerdlution thing and I’m worn out. But I’m fooling myself if I don’t have 15 minutes to write something down. Even things I don’t enjoy, but need to get done, can be endured in 15-minute increments. Push that to 30 minutes or an hour and they’re damn near impossible. But 15 minutes? Yeah, I can handle that.

What do you put off because there isn’t enough time? Do you have 15 minutes?