Do you avoid tasks because it takes more time than you feel you have at the moment? Take time to become aware of all the time throughout each day that you could be using to accomplish small tasks. My colleague in Professional Organizing, Sandra Felton, calls these little minutes. "Little minutes," says Felton, "are those short periods of time left over from larger projects." They also occur when your ride is late, when dinner is ready but the kids aren't home, when you're stuck in line or in a traffic jam or in a waiting room. These little minutes provide invaluable time to accomplish little bites of tasks, saving bigger chunks of time for your big projects.
The most popular example of a "little minute" is the television commercial during which most Americans make a three minute snack. Be on the lookout for other projects you can do while watching TV: Ironing, mending, or cutting coupons. Other examples of little minute tasks include making the bed while you wait for the coffee to brew or writing thank you notes while you're waiting for an appointment. Try rinsing the bathroom sink and wiping the mirror while waiting for the curling iron to heat. Wash the preparation dishes while you're waiting for the family to gather for dinner. While waiting at the bank drive-up window, you can file your nails, make your grocery list, or balance your checkbook. Keep a few note cards in a plastic bag in your purse so when you're waiting for an appointment in the doctor's office you can jot a quick note to a friend or relative. Hand written notes are almost a lost art and are even more endearing in this day of instant emailing!
Make a game of matching the little minutes with your projects. You'll be surprised at how much you can accomplish and how good you feel about making even "little minutes" count!
Judy Warmington, Woman Time Management (owner) -- Busy wife, mother of three adult/married children, grandmother of 10 (5 boys and 5 girls!), former high school teacher (M.A. from W.M.U.), Speaker, Author, Radio Personality, and Trainer of Professional Organizers.