Just 20 minutes

A thread on a message board this week got me thinking about productivity.  I’m a relatively productive individual if the people around me are to be trusted.  In fact, most of my friends are constantly harassing me to slow down, smell a rose, sleep. I do smell roses. See?

Anywho, on this message board we were discussing passive and active barriers to action, how to get and stay motivated and the like. I spoke briefly about a technique I used to practice a lot more often where you put 15 minutes on a timer and just work. I do this instead of making a list that would have 50 items like “recycle aluminum can on desk” or “put away file boxes.” In other words, things that take longer to write down then actually do.

Then I decided to restart this habit and put 20 minutes on a timer (because it was really getting messy) and got to work.


It’s not a complete disaster (yet) but there’s a lot of clutter, trash is starting to get icky and I can’t focus very well when I have a dozen projects open and in the way. Not to mention I can’t get to the chair without pole vaulting in.


I did move the cases of free paper under my desk and they make a handy foot rest!  The books I need for reference are lined up next to my CPU and the floor is relatively clear of clutter.  Don’t be fooled into thinking everything is done. Oh, no. The stack of papers have receipts I need to log, the closet has banker’s boxes so I can archive files and bins full of photos I still need to scan and file.  But I know exactly where they are and don’t need to excavate in order to get to my scanner.

I showed the final result to my roommates and, I don’t know about you, but I think they’re excited:




2 thoughts on “Just 20 minutes

  1. I see that look on DBF’s face whenever I tell him what a great day I had learning about something, and then proceed to explain it to him in great detail…

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