I’m in the crazed period of putting my house on the market, downsizing, and moving.  I have lists, sub-lists, and master lists.  I’ve got so many balls in the air it feels as if I’m in one of those batting cages and the automatic pitcher has gone haywire.  I’m like an octopus with a baseball glove on all 8 tentacles while catching balls with my teeth and juggling simultaneously.  But I know it will all be done because of the advice I received from a good friend’s mother years ago.  

Mrs. M always said that you could do anything in 15 minute increments. 

When I was young and foolish that seemed like kind of silly advice.  I had big plans to change the world, live an interesting life, and really, how hard could life be, maybe she just wasn’t organized, said my arrogant young self.  15 minute increments seemed like a bit of a cop-out.  

She was right, I was wrong, and I’ve gratefully followed her advice for years now.

15 minutes can change your life.

Want to change directions in your career?  Grab 15 minutes to connect with 5 people on LinkedIn, email a mentor to review your resume, or research and follow a company.  15 minutes to schedule a call with a successful entrepreneur.  15 minutes to write a thank you note after that call.  15 minutes to make a To Do list – and then 15 minutes daily achieving the items on the list.

Want to change the world?  Dedicate 15 minutes a day to exploring new ways of addressing old problems.  15 minutes to connect with people on social media.  15 minutes to engage or post on social media.  15 minutes to sign up for a webinar or course that will add to your skill-set.  

Want to downsize/move?  15 minutes to clean out one drawer or fill one box.  15 minutes to schedule an appointment with an inspector or movers, hire an electrician, or change a few lightbulbs.  15 minutes to begin researching where you want to move next.  15 minutes to put something on Craig’s List or eBay.

15 minute increments works because it’s manageable.  It starts you in the right direction, and keeps you moving.  Inertia is the biggest obstacle to change.  Changing careers, changing the world, finding a college, finishing a huge project, writing a proposal – it doesn’t matter what you want to accomplish, if you look at the magnitude it can be totally overwhelming.  Chipping away at it in 15 minute increments brings it down to size.  

Bonus, change is like water.  15 minutes is taking the small pebbles out of a dam, but once you remove enough of the pebbles, the force of the water breaks everything else down.  The momentum you’ve created by dedicating 15 minutes every day to change suddenly takes on a life of its own and before you know it, change is happening.  

Yes, of course some things need hours, days, months, or years to achieve, but you’ll never achieve the big goals without steadily accomplishing the small 15 minute incremental goals.  The 15 minutes keeps you going on a bad day, when it seems overwhelming, or you are just too tired to do one more thing.

15 minutes can change your life.

What big goal do you want to achieve?  Start a list of what you would need to do to reach your goal and commit to 15 minutes increments to start things moving.  

What will you do with your 15 minutes today?