Time management: 15 + 5 minutes strategy

Hello, everyone! How are you dealing with the new week?

Personally, I am developing a new strategy and I think it’s working well. Since I noticed how easily I got distracted and how even more easily I lose the sense of time, I decided to schedule my activities on shorts periods of time and to reward me with a pause for each of these periods. I didn’t extrapolate this technique from a manual and yet I don’t have inserted it in a wider strategy. I am just trying to improve my time management and get more things done in a day.

At first, a couple of weeks ago, I tried to manage periods of 1 hour each, but I found that the need for distraction (yes, not the distraction per se, but a strange need to be distracted) was working against me. I tried anyway to force myself to stay focused for one hour straight but was almost impossible and blame me for that was counterproductive.

After a week of disappointment, I reduced the period to a half, only 30 minutes activity, but it did not work as well. It was a sort of a dumb compromise. It was a very short period of time to do something head to tail, yet, it was long enough for the appetite for distraction to kick in. So, right this morning, I decided to be drastic and I reduced the period of activity to 15 minutes adding 5 minutes of break for each completed task.

Every time I intend to work, I set a countdown of 15 minutes on my phone. When the alarm goes off, I set a countdown of 5 minutes to have a break. After the pause, I start to work again.

So far, I have completed a lot of tasks that usually take me a lot more time and I have managed to insert some house chores in my off-desk moments. The breaks are too short to induce me to start some big house chore that would commit me for half a day, but just long enough to allow me to answer a mail, bend some laundry or even browse a couple of social media. On the other hand, even if many tasks require multiple quarters, 15 minutes allow me to be fully committed to what I am doing and do it happily.

And you? What are your strategies to better manage your time? Let me know in the comment section. In the meanwhile, thank you for your precious time and have a wonderful week!

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