Until I discovered 20 Minute Time Management Solution, I found time management a bit of a minefield. I tried so hard to be organized, to have a fully ticked off ‘To Do’ list at the end of each day and most of all, to Do One Thing at a Time. But like so many of my friends and colleagues, I struggled.
Does this ever happen to you? I find I often start one task and a few minutes later, find myself doing something completely different. The first task isn’t finished, the second is half done and I’m kicking myself because I can see another task looming on the horizon. Then suddenly it’s nearly dinnertime and I feel like I haven’t finished a single thing.
One day not so long ago, I was facing a really daunting ‘to do’ list and a very definitely deadline. We were going on a trip I was really looking forward to the next day and our bag wasn’t even packed. I needed to do certain tasks but I needed (and wanted!) to pack my bag too. Rushing round in circles, I was accomplishing virtually nothing. Concentrate on any one thing for more than a few minutes seemed to be impossible.
The 20 minute time management solution
Suddenly I had a brain wave. What if I made myself do just one thing for just twenty minutes? Surely I could focus on one thing for that short amount of time. I set a timer and started on the suitcase. Whenever I started to lose focus I gently reminded myself it was only twenty minutes. I could do something else when the timer had gone off but not before.
I was so absorbed in what I was doing that I was startled when I heard the alarm go off – and even more startled when I realized that the bag was virtually completely packed!
So I set myself another task and set the timer for twenty minutes. When it went off, I had virtually finished that task as well. Every time my mind began to wander to a different task I reminded myself that it was, after all, only twenty minutes.
Since that day, my life has been transformed. By breaking tasks into small chunks, I’m accomplishing so much more. (In some circumstances I use a thirty minute solution instead, depending on what demands I have on my time.)
Variety is the key to the 20 minute time management solution
The trick with the 20 Minute Time Management is that when the time is up, you have to go on to something else. You can go back to the task for another twenty (or thirty) minutes later but not immediately afterwards. It keeps things fresh and helps you stay focused.
Of course, there are some tasks the 20 Minute Time Management Solution won’t work for. There are things that just can’t be left half way through. Also, you don’t want to keep setting a timer all day long, every day. However the satisfaction of accomplishing smaller tasks by using the twenty minute solution means I can enjoy giving myself the space to accomplish things that take longer.
Do remember a timer is a tool to help, it should not rule your life or drive you crazy. Babies cry, phones and doorbells ring, things come up. If it’s something like a member of my family needing me, I simply abandon the task and go back to it later. However, if it’s a very quick thing (like a short phone call) and there’s still time left on the timer after I’ve dealt with it, I go back to the task and stick to it for the remainder of the time set.
I’ve been using The 20 Minute Time Management Solution for ages now and it really does work. So the next time you are feeling frazzled with too much to do, think of one task that you could accomplish a good portion of – or even complete – in twenty focused minutes. Set a timer and go. You will be amazed at what you can accomplish!