I think we’re all guilty of overestimating what we can get done in one day, and the number of projects we can work on at any given time. Writing a book in a week sounds fine, for example, until you realize that you’ve got a million other projects on the go at the same time! On the flip side, some projects can look so huge that you just never get started. You keep putting it off and putting it off until you decide you’re just never going to get around to it. (I know I’ve done that a few times myself.)
There is one way to feel like you’re making progress even when you don’t have much time to work on a project: by dedicating just 15 minutes a day to doing something that’ll take you closer to your goals.
This is enough time to actually see some progress each day, but not too much time that you won’t be able to fit it into your already busy schedule. You may be thinking that projects will take too long to complete if you only give them 15 minutes per day, but they’ll take even longer if you never start! That 15 minute block is a way to motivate yourself, to keep you working consistently, and to help build momentum until you see something through to the end.
For those of us offering services and maintaining client relationships adding another project to the list like this may seem even more impossible and overwhelming. Sometimes it helps to become a client yourself, set aside the 15 minutes or so per day.
How To Make Sure Those 15 Minutes Are Productive
The best way to make sure you get the absolute most done in those 15 minutes is to know what you’re doing. If you’re writing a book or report, make sure you write an outline so that you can dig into any section whenever you have time. If not, spend one of your 15 minute chunks of time breaking down any project into smaller, more workable chunks. It may not seem like it, but this really works to make things easier on you, so don’t skip it!
It also helps to get into a routine: if you have 15 free minutes in the mornings, set this time aside for your new projects. Or, if you’re the kind of person who constantly seems to be on the move, keep a notebook/ smartphone/ eReader etc. on you so you can work on your project whenever you get a chance: at the doctor’s office, while waiting for a friend, sitting in a taxi and so on.
It also helps to let someone else know your goals. A partner or friend can help to keep you accountable, or you could even post daily updates on a blog and get others to join in. Whatever works for you!
Does 15 Minutes a Day Really Work?
When do you feel the happiest and most successful: when you’ve been thinking about doing something for a while but are trying to get the motivation to actually start, or when you stop thinking and start doing? Even if you’re not doing much, you know you’re doing something. That should be enough for you to stop beating yourself up and to start feeling proud that you’re taking action on your goals.
Check out Getting More Done in Bite Size Chunks, a great guest post here by Susanne Myers. She is the queen of getting more done in your business!