Tag Archives: time-management

The 45:15 plan for work-at-home sorts

Heaven Fest.  I do that.

Our current office is not opened on Mondays, but I work on  Mondays…and Saturdays…and Sundays, too sometimes.

When I know I have to jump headlong into a long-list Monday working from home, I have a way of dealing with it that makes it a wonderful day.  Sometimes I don’t do this, and then I feel cheated and totally worn out and sort of like a prisoner in my own house.  But when I remember…

The secret?

45:15.  This is the formula.  I work like a maniac for 45 minutes.  Then I do something totally un-work-related for 15.  I actually set the timer for this.

At first, when the task list is long and time-pressure related things roll out endlessly causing my heart to palpitate and my breath to shorten, the timer going off feels like an interruption…like, what? wait…now?  I am just getting my groove.  So, it doesn’t always feel like a blessing.

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But, then, I find my pace and get my groove and the timer becomes a reward for me.  I plow with vigor into my 45 minutes of work and when the beep begins, I am set free like a kid on that last day of school and for 15 minutes I can do anything I want without one thought of the tasks at hand.  Sometimes that is cleaning the bathroom or doing a load of laundry.  Today it is weeding and pruning and writing this quick post.  I might even call my mom during one “break” today.

I suppose one could put her feet up, eat some bon-bons and watch a soap opera, but that isn’t my deal.  So even though I am still doing “stuff” it is stuff that makes me happy and makes me feel accomplished and gives my worm-out mind a rest.  It is good.

At the end of 10 hours today, I will have competed my work task list, have an amazing sense of accomplishment and I will have enjoyed a couple of hours of tidying and weeding and fresh air and music and working from home.  The productivity goes up and the breath normalizes.

NOTE:  I have never been able to actually “do” the Flylady thing, but I think I got this idea from an essay she wrote some years ago about how to handle it when what you have to do is a crazy-high mountain of tasks.  Steady as she goes…  :)

Really? 19 Minutes?

I read this online article.  Color me wary.


Clean Your House In 19 Minutes

By Real Simple  With a plan of attack, you can maintain a sparkling house in just 19 minutes a day

Kitchen, 4 1/2 minutes daily
Always start with the sink. A sparkling sink becomes your kitchen’s benchmark for hygiene and tidiness, inspiring you to load the dishwasher immediately and keep counters, refrigerator doors, and the stove top spick-and-span, too.

  • Wipe down the sink after doing the dishes or loading the dishwasher (30 seconds).
  • Wipe down the stove top (one minute).
  • Wipe down the counters (one minute).
  • Sweep, Swiffer, or vacuum the floor (two minutes).

Bathroom, 2 minutes daily
Make cleaning the basin as routine as washing your hands. But don’t stop there. Get the most out of your pre-moistened wipe by using it to clean around the edges of the tub and then the toilet before tossing it.

  • Wipe out the sink (30 seconds). Wipe the toilet seat and rim (15 seconds).
  • Swoosh the toilet bowl with a brush (15 seconds).
  • Wipe the mirror and faucet (15 seconds).
  • Squeegee the shower door (30 seconds).
  • Spray the entire shower and the curtain liner with shower mist after every use (15 seconds).

Bedroom, 6 1/2 minutes daily
Make your bed right before or after your morning shower. A neat bed will inspire you to deal with other messes immediately. Although smoothing sheets and plumping pillows might not seem like a high priority as you’re rushing to work, the payoff comes at the end of the day, when you slip back under the unruffled covers.

  • Make the bed (two minutes).
  • Fold or hang clothing and put away jewelry (four minutes).
  • Straighten out the night-table surface (30 seconds).

Family Room, Living Room, Foyer, 6 minutes daily
Start with the sofa — as long as it’s in disarray, your living room will never look tidy. Once you’ve fluffed the pillows and folded the throws, you’re halfway home. If you pop in a CD while you dust, you should be able cover the whole room by the end of the third track.

  • Pick up crumbs and dust bunnies with a handheld vacuum (one minute).
  • Fluff the cushions and fold throws after use (two minutes).
  • Wipe tabletops and spot-clean cabinets when you see fingerprints (one minute).
  • Straighten coffee-table books and magazines. Throw out newspapers. Put away CDs and videos. (Two minutes.)

So, hmmmm…Here is what I’m thinking:

I notice they say this is the way to MAINTAIN a “sparkling house.”  This does seem to imply it should be sparkling to begin with.  Mine has somewhat of a sheen, but I don’t know that I could say it is actually sparkling.  Troubling.

Kitchens: Ok, so-my theory on the clean sink is that “A freshly scoured and polished sink will go looking for dirty dishes.”  And while I love seeing my reflection in the sink, I can’t say it actually “inspires” me to load the dishwasher – especially when I often have to unload it first.  Has the verb “swiffering” or “to swiffer” made the dictionery yet?

Bathrooms: If I spend 15 seconds “wiping” the mirror, I will then need 10 minutes to get the streaks off that I just caused.  I have one of those Scrubbing Bubble misters in the shower that are supposedly the equivalent of 30 maids filling your shower stall.  It is handy, but I’d fire those maids if they didn’t a better job than it does! 

Bedroom:  Boy-oh-boy, I can save some major minutes here.  Not enough jewelry to take that long AND I can cut off some time with the bed-making.  Two minutes to make a bed?  Novices!  I’ll make that bed in 41.2 seconds!

Common Family Spaces:  Well, these areas would not be a problem if it weren’t for the fact that I have such a big, honking family!  I don’t have any CDs with 2 minute songs (6 minutes total, by the “end of three songs”???=2 minute songs…I don’t think so).  Plus, I no longer put DVDs away.  Dave and Stormie and the Netflix people know why.

Well, so anyway, I think I’ll spend the next 6 and a half weeks creating some sparkle so I can maintain it in only 19 minutes a day…but wait-what if I take a Sabbath?  The whole plan is already shot.

Maintaining, just barely…Jeanie

NOTE TO SELF: Read their follow-up article “How to speed-clean your kitchen” because 4 1/2 minutes is just too much of a time investment.

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