Think about the last time you had a meeting. It might have been a coffee date, it might have been with a new client, maybe it was a dentist appointment. Think about whether, a) you were on time, and b) the other party was on time. My guess is that at least half of you were on time and the other party was not. What did you do with those five, ten, fifteen minutes? Read some awful celebrity mag or just looked around trying not to be anxious?
Ah yes, you were on your phone, ok, but what were you doing? Idly scrolling through your Facebook feed, reading emails but not doing anything with them? Tindering away looking for a match?
Enter the 15 Minute List
This is basically a cheat sheet that helps you get things done when you come across “found” time. Note down all the little things you need to do that take 15 minutes or less and can be done out in the world without many supplies (unless they are small enough to carry around with you - like blank cards for thank you notes!)
Perhaps you want to read an article that a friend sent you. Maybe you need to make an appointment for your dog to get vaccinations. You might have been putting off a quick check in with your grandma on the phone - all good ideas for your 15 minute list.
It doesn’t just have to be waiting for others - you can pull out the list when you finish a task quicker than expected or when there’s less traffic than you plan for so you’re early to your Zumba class. You might find yourself with half an hour between appointments and want to actually do something useful with the gap!
Make Use of Short Stretches of Found Time
This is quite a good thing to keep on your phone (assuming you use a smartphone) and there are so many different apps you can use from your existing project management system to Wunderlist, Any.do, Google Keep or any of the myriad of others. Google Keep is cool because you can set location-based reminders - you definitely won't forget to stop in at the paint store on the other side of town to pick up some colour chips!
What you don’t want is all of these tasks to interrupt your workflow or to take away a whole morning from you! So, keep your 15 minute list and revel in your ability to get shit done. Good work.
What's on your list?
I’m creating a series of my favourite productivity tips to share with you! I’m trying to keep them useful and concise so that they are easy to apply in your day-to-day life. Let me know if there are topics you'd like me to cover!