15 Minutes

I am sure many of you know this trick already, but I am once again discovering how much I can accomplish in just 15 minutes. I have a tendency to hyper-focus and concentrate on just one thing until it is finished or I am exhausted. It’s a trait of ADD, which doesn’t necessarily mean, as most people think, an inability to pay attention, but a problem with directing attention appropriately. So, for instance, I could clean the kitchen all day, and it would be very clean, but I would not be noticing that the kids are wrestling in the living room, the toilet is overflowing, or even that the rest of the house has burned down. You can see how this might be a problem for someone who has many, many important irons in the fire, right? So, I am trying some cognitive therapy on myself. I do stuff in 15 minute increments, 30 if it’s something I need to be deeply involved in. I look at the time when I sit down or get up (depending on the task at hand), decide how much I can realistically accomplish in the allowed time, and then that’s how much I do. When the time I up, I walk away.

Sometimes, that’s very frustrating. I’m a plate cleaner. I like to get a task done, and have it off my plate. Unfortunately, that’s not how real life works. Real life is repetitive. Think about it, everyday you have to get up, brush your teeth, brush your hair, get dressed, make coffee, etc, etc, etc. Coming to grips with the fact that my living room will never BE clean and so I will be cleaning it everyday is a real break through for me. I’m telling you all this so that I can tell you I spent 15 minutes this morning organizing the last of my knitting stuff and I feel pretty pleased with myself. Except that organizing my knitting stuff will never be truly finished because I always have at least one set of needles out of place, because I am using them to knit something. And that’s okay. Life is messy, and I am learning to get over it.

However that stack of stuff I took off the shelf that I put my knitting stuff on? It’s sitting in my rocking chair. It’s been there for an hour, and it’s already on my last nerve.