Friday, May 3, 2013

All or Nothing: The 10 Minute Challenge

I have realized something about myself...I am an all or nothing kind of person.  If I can't do all of a job, I don't want to start.  If I don't have all of the supplies or ingredients, I won't create.  If I don't have all the time I need to finish something, I don't want to tackle the project.  If I eat badly at one meal I throw the rest of the day out the window.

It's holding me back.

Because, the thing is, I don't have big chunks of time.  I almost never have all of the supplies I need. I eat a lot of my meals on the fly because of the aforementioned lack of time and supplies.  How can I expect to get anything done this way?  Because it's how I have always done it.

Since having kids, I have had to give up a lot of my prior expectations for how smoothly life should run, as I think most parents do, but I held on to my old ideas about productivity.  It just doesn't work.

What does work is doing what I can, when I can.  If I have 5 free minutes I can put a way most of basket of laundry rather than let it sit there until I have more time.  I can dust part of a room and come back to the rest-it's actually much less daunting that way.  If I don't have all of the ingredients for a meal, I change it up and make do.  It tastes just as good!

I have read other women talk about setting a 10 minute timer to sweep through the house and do a quick pick up.  I scoffed at first, but the fact is, you can accomplish a lot in 10 minutes.  Like right before bed or during nap time.  Just gather everything that doesn't belong where it is into a laundry basket.  If you have more time, go ahead and put it where it belongs.  If not?  At least it is all in one place and easy to deal with when you have a few more minutes.

What have I accomplished in 10  minutes?

  • Gathered all the dirty laundry, sorted it and put a load in the wash.
  • Made all of the beds.
  • Wiped down the bathroom- sink, toilet and other surfaces that need to be disinfected.
  • Collected all the ingredients for a meal into one place and begun prep work.  Sometimes I do all the chopping, mix together a sauce or begin marinating meat.
  • Look online for an activity for the kids, get all the supplies ready and set up an example.
  • Picked up and straighten the entire downstairs (kitchen, family room, dining room, living room and foyer area)
  • Sort through the shoes (we keep them together in baskets by the door) and take out what can be trashed, donated or consigned.  I like to do this seasonally.
It's nothing earth shattering, but it makes a difference.

There is no time in my day right now for even a half hour workout, so I am doing mini bursts of exercise like Burpies and Planks that engage multiple muscle groups at one time.  And, of course, a 10 minute walk is good for all kids of things (fatigue, concentration, depression, anxiety, heart health,digestion, etc...)

If you are an all or nothing person like me or are just looking for ways to fit more into your day, I encourage you to take the 10 minute challenge!

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