Open House / Maximizing The Minutes

I have a poorly child at home today. So while he naps I’ve hit the blog, opening it up for a Thursday chat.

Since becoming a mother I have found that guaranteed blocks of time, where you can focus on doing a specific thing, are few and far between. Now that both of mine are in school there is definitely more time to devote to certain things, but as 1 became 3 (me+2 mini-humans) I’m never quite the master of my own destiny. The phone can always ring with the ‘Mrs Wright…It’s about your son…’

(I once took such a call when I had forgotten to collect my daughter from school – but that’s a story for another day).

One thing I have learnt is to maximize (maximise? couldn’t decide) the minutes, as the hours may never come.

There must be so many minutes available to us that when viewed as unique units of time they seem insignificant, but when added together combine to generate substantial opportunity to ‘get things done’.

In the past I’ve been guilty of spending more time thinking about things than actually doing them.

But now I try to Just Do It.

Little and often is the name of the game. Those 10 spellings the kids need to learn for the test each Friday? 1 minute practicing 2 at a time.  The daily physio exercises required to rehabilitate from hip surgery? Instead of 30 minutes doing them all, just 5 minutes spent on each exercise staggered throughout the day should achieve the same goal.

Just a couple of minutes of maths makes the world of difference. They're not for me by the way!

Just a couple of minutes of maths makes the world of difference. They’re not for me by the way!

And as for decluttering – well as you know I’m a fan of 10 minutes a day.

The question to kick off the open house (blog) today is how do you maximize the minutes?

(p.s this post took me 10 minutes)

But as always on a Thursday feel free to deviate down any train of thought!

{ 11 comments… add one }
  • Nell Fitzsimmons April 2, 2015, 11:29 am

    Great post! So true too. I maximise the minutes with ironing at the mo.
    I do 15 minutes at 7pm every day. Its doable and doesn’t seem daunting. You can get a lot done in that time too! Also that’s the time The Archers is on! So as soon as the end theme tune starts I pack up ?. Its good not to have a big pile to tackle at the weekend!!
    Hope your hip is mending well Jo. Have a lovely Easter xxx

  • Simply Being Mum April 2, 2015, 11:34 am

    It’s amazing what can be achieved in 15 minutes. In fact I’m feeling inspired to go do mine (and I hate ironing – and rarely have much to do but do have a few things today). I’ve never listened to The Archers! I tend to listen to Gary Vaynerchuk on the iPad while I do chores – but can’t if Kids at home as the language is a little colourful!
    Have a lovely Easter Nell x

  • Simply Being Mum April 2, 2015, 11:34 am

    It’s amazing what can be achieved in 15 minutes. In fact I’m feeling inspired to go do mine (and I hate ironing – and rarely have much to do but do have a few things today). I’ve never listened to The Archers! I tend to listen to Gary Vaynerchuk on the iPad while I do chores – but can’t if Kids at home as the language is a little colourful!
    Have a lovely Easter Nell x

  • Paul @ Eco Stores April 2, 2015, 12:38 pm

    It’s a lovely idea, but I find if I don’t complete a task it sits in my brain cluttering up my thoughts. I’m much better if I dedicate my whole self to a task for a period of time and then can move on.

  • Nathalie April 2, 2015, 2:58 pm

    “Maximizing the minutes”, unfortunately, has meant multi-tasking, for me. I say “unfortunately” because I have found that in many instances, instead of saving me time, multi-tasking has led to inefficient time management and poor results. Not all the time though. My favorite way of “maximizing the minutes” is to use my stationary recumbent bike to get my exercise in, while distractingly re-watching episodes of a TV series that I don’t recall so well so I can watch Season 2 in the near future, while also clipping the coupons that I printed or flipping through magazines and collecting recipes.

    However, I feel that with the advent of smart phones, we’ve all become “multi-taskers” who are more scattered-brain(ed?) than anything else. Rarely can we go about doing one task without also being on our smart phones. I’m also guilty of this at times. And even when I don’t use my smart phone, my now differently-circuited brain can’t handle concentrated on the same task for very long. It’s a physical effort for me to force my brain/body into keeping with the task at hand without getting distracted by something else. And because I’m easily distracted and forgetful, nowadays (that last one caused my middle age, apparently), I tend to start a million things right when I think of them, because I know that if I don’t, then I’ll forget about them altogether. If I stop what I’m going to even just jot it down, I might get distracted by something else.

    It never was like this for me, before I had a smart phone and was able to look everything up online or check my email or… what not. I’m not even on any social networks so I can’t blame Facebook or Instagram for this.

    So, for me, I’m actually trying to make “maximizing the minutes” less into “multi-tasking” and more into “making time count”. I try to slow down and make sure I do things right instead of rushing to accomplish “more” things, when in fact most of them end up being only partially done. But it’s a constant struggle.

    • Simply Being Mum April 2, 2015, 3:06 pm

      It can be a battle making sure that not too much is taken on board. We all suffer from it. Those extra few minutes I’m trying to prioritise more effectively. Breaking down bigger jobs (that may get missed due to time pressure) into chunks of time that I can combine for a greater purpose. There are things that I really need to fit in, like extra maths for the kids but to sit down and get them to do 30 minutes after a day at school isn’t attractive to them.
      Over the last few years I’ve generally tried to reduce what needs doing so that time isn’t such a premium – but there’s still work to be done. I’m consciously, like you, making the minutes ‘count’, hopefully by reducing my to-do list this should be accomplished. We’ll see.
      Good luck on getting things done – I do empathise, day to day life can feel like one big unfinished project !

  • Nathalie April 2, 2015, 2:58 pm

    “Maximizing the minutes”, unfortunately, has meant multi-tasking, for me. I say “unfortunately” because I have found that in many instances, instead of saving me time, multi-tasking has led to inefficient time management and poor results. Not all the time though. My favorite way of “maximizing the minutes” is to use my stationary recumbent bike to get my exercise in, while distractingly re-watching episodes of a TV series that I don’t recall so well so I can watch Season 2 in the near future, while also clipping the coupons that I printed or flipping through magazines and collecting recipes.

    However, I feel that with the advent of smart phones, we’ve all become “multi-taskers” who are more scattered-brain(ed?) than anything else. Rarely can we go about doing one task without also being on our smart phones. I’m also guilty of this at times. And even when I don’t use my smart phone, my now differently-circuited brain can’t handle concentrated on the same task for very long. It’s a physical effort for me to force my brain/body into keeping with the task at hand without getting distracted by something else. And because I’m easily distracted and forgetful, nowadays (that last one caused my middle age, apparently), I tend to start a million things right when I think of them, because I know that if I don’t, then I’ll forget about them altogether. If I stop what I’m going to even just jot it down, I might get distracted by something else.

    It never was like this for me, before I had a smart phone and was able to look everything up online or check my email or… what not. I’m not even on any social networks so I can’t blame Facebook or Instagram for this.

    So, for me, I’m actually trying to make “maximizing the minutes” less into “multi-tasking” and more into “making time count”. I try to slow down and make sure I do things right instead of rushing to accomplish “more” things, when in fact most of them end up being only partially done. But it’s a constant struggle.

    • Simply Being Mum April 2, 2015, 3:06 pm

      It can be a battle making sure that not too much is taken on board. We all suffer from it. Those extra few minutes I’m trying to prioritise more effectively. Breaking down bigger jobs (that may get missed due to time pressure) into chunks of time that I can combine for a greater purpose. There are things that I really need to fit in, like extra maths for the kids but to sit down and get them to do 30 minutes after a day at school isn’t attractive to them.
      Over the last few years I’ve generally tried to reduce what needs doing so that time isn’t such a premium – but there’s still work to be done. I’m consciously, like you, making the minutes ‘count’, hopefully by reducing my to-do list this should be accomplished. We’ll see.
      Good luck on getting things done – I do empathise, day to day life can feel like one big unfinished project !

  • Karen April 3, 2015, 3:23 pm

    Why couldn’t you decide maximize or maximise? I’m wondering why that was a decision for you?

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.