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Small Things

Or, the wonder of 15 minutes a day

One of the saddest things a facilitator can hear is when a client says, “The training was fantastic, but I’ve forgotten most of it because I didn’t practice”.
This makes me want to cry.

All that time, effort and money potentially wasted.
A while back I discovered a simple, but incredibly effective way to achieve a huge amount of progress, and all you need is a timer (pssst – you’re probably carrying one around right now, on your phone).

You see, I love gardening, but what I don’t love is when I leave it too long and need to spend the entire weekend clearing weeds and pruning. Frankly, I’d rather shave my head with a cheese grater!

So, one day I thought, what if I just spend 15 minutes?

This is what I did.
On day one, I pulled on my trusty gardening boots, went out into the garden and picked a spot that was full of weeds. (There were plenty to choose from!)

Small-things-2

I set the timer on my phone for 15 minutes and got stuck in.

As soon as the timer went off, I stopped (even though I was nowhere near finished) and went back to my office to work.

On day two, I continued where I left off, once again stopping after 15 minutes.

I kept doing this, and after a couple of weeks my wife said to me, “the garden is looking fantastic!”

Small-things-2

Even better, over time my 15 minutes went much further because I could then use it to maintain what I had already done.

After that I was hooked! I started using the same approach for other things like keeping up to date with various software applications I teach.

I’ve now started recommending this approach to participants in my software training sessions. I ask them to spend 15 minutes a day practicing what they learned in the classroom. If they can’t do 15, then I ask them to try 10 minutes.

(If they can’t do 10, then I suggest they should perhaps think about a time management course!)
The thing about this approach is that it’s easy to do 15 minutes of focused work. Showing up is half the battle. From there, it’s just a small chunk of time, but it makes a huge difference if done consistently. In fact, I would say consistency is the key.

If you really want to retain what you’ve learned, try the 15 minutes a day approach. You’ll be amazed at just how much can happen with such a small investment of time, and it’s so simple that my dogs could do it!

Give it a try and use the comments to let me know how much you achieve. And before you ask, no I will not come over and do your garden!

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