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Consider this quote from Abe Lincoln

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."



I walked in the door the other night after a long day of work and looked at the place where my kitchen table stands and thought to myself how nice it would be if I actually had use of that table instead of the catch all it has become. Now I’ve never been one to keep a spotless house as I am certainly one who believes that your home should feel lived in, but as I started looking around at everything that needed done I started to get more and more overwhelmed. As I stood there I started to think about how overwhelmed I tend to get with so many things. It’s not that I don’t wish that things were all great all the time, but honestly by the time I get home most evenings I’ve barely got the energy or motivation to do more than eat a little bite over the kitchen sink and crawl into bed. Something needs to change for sure!

I remember reading somewhere that the reason people tend to get stuck in things that aren’t unhealthy or just in a rut is that because by the time they want to do something about it, the things that need corrected seem to be so overwhelming that they are afraid to make a start. This got me to thinking about how to concoct a plan to get started. It came to me that trying to complete the entire thing from start to finish would take longer than I had the energy to for and rather than getting frustrating and not starting at all I came up with a simple but somewhat effective solution.

I haven’t come up with a catchy phrase for it yet, but it stems down to this. Fifteen minutes on a task and fifteen minutes on me. Whatever task it is, from dusting to putting away laundry to cleaning that dreaded pile of paperwork off of the kitchen table I set the timer on my phone and work at it for fifteen minutes. When the timer goes off I stop and decide if I want to keep working on it or leave it until the next day when I work on it for fifteen minutes again. This seemed silly at first, because I tended to get sidetracked with things I was finding while picking up, but I found that slowly over the course of a few days I not only was able to accomplish the task before me, but also found that there were times when I wanted to spend a little more time on them to finish them up. Most importantly, I never felt overwhelmed by the tasks that needed done because I knew that I wasn’t going to end up bogged down in an extended project.

What about the other fifteen minutes you ask? Well, I decided that I would use that fifteen minutes on me. I tend to be an early riser, in fact most mornings I am up before the sun, so I started walking five minutes out around the yard then spent the next ten sitting down either with the latest book that I’ve been trying to get through or with my Bible in study and prayer. I found that spending that little time on me during the day made me much less rushed and also started becoming something I’ve started looking forward to as it is starting to improve my mental and physical states. I’m not sure I’m ever going to get to the point where I am interested in running a marathon, especially since I’m dead set against any running, but it is a start.

So next time you are looking at a task that seems to be worse than climbing a mountain or just feel that you need to stop and breath a bit, try giving it fifteen minutes at a time, and you might be a little surprised at the results. See you next week…remember, we’re all in this together.