Ten 15-minute grabs at a better life

Ducks refusing to line up so you can get your act together? Don’t worry! Here are ten ways that you can change your life in fifteen-minute increments.

1. Health first

Book in a year’s worth of medical appointments for the family. GP checkup, routine tests (smear, breast, prostate), dentist, skin check, optometrist, immunisations and any other necessary appointments. Note the immediate sense of empowerment over your health.

2. Tell someone what they mean to you

Think of someone who had an impact on your life, and who doesn’t know it. Take 15 minutes and let this person know what their contribution meant. Phone, email, write or text. Just say it!

3. Show yourself how little time it really takes to clean up

Set a kitchen timer for 15 minutes. Isolate ONE ‘hotspot’ (kitchen bench, washing pile, entryway where everyone dumps their bags, lava-like trail of toys in the lounge room…) Go like a ‘bat out of hell’ for exactly and ONLY 15 minutes. Then stop and see how little time it takes to make a difference.

4. Revitalise neglected friendships

Go through your contacts list and jot down the names of any good friends who you haven’t caught up with in 6 months or longer. Select one person, get in touch and lock in a catch up!

5. Have a coffee and career chat

It might be with your boss, another colleague or a mentor. You don’t need to have a particular ‘agenda’ and the conversation needn’t revolve around work. It’s about getting to know someone better professionally.

6. Find a better deal

Pick ONE utility or service (electricity, phone, internet, health insurance etc) and spend 15 minutes calling around or searching online to beat your current deal. You might save hundreds (or more).

7. Lock in your next holiday

Sit down with your partner or friends and pick a free week or fortnight some time in the next twelve months. Send an email to your boss/es requesting time off. Open a holiday account and arrange a regular direct debit into it.

Later on, have the fun of planning where you’ll go, knowing the time is booked and the funds are building.

8. Wrangle the overwhelm

Spend 15 minutes going through your diary and find:

• One thing to cancel
• One thing to postpone
• One thing to delegate

Make the calls or send the emails now.

9. Delete and unsubscribe

Fifteen minutes with your inbox sorted by sender can help you obliterate unwanted mail. Likewise, a quarter of an hour unsubscribing from newsletters you never read will unclog your mailbox fast.

10. Look up

Spend 15 minutes, after dark, lying in your driveway, or on your front lawn, or in the backyard – staring at the night sky. Do it alone or with a partner, friend or kids, and keep your eye out for shooting stars… you never know.

This is about taking some time out and appreciating the universe – and it may also act as a ‘galactic filter’ which will help you to sift out the worries that are causing you disproportionate angst. While you’re lying there, looking up, ask yourself what really matters to you right now and what you can let go…

Emma Grey and Audrey Thomas help people transform their lives, fifteen minutes at a time. Visit their website at www.my15minutes.com.au

About The Author

Emma Grey & Audrey Thomas

Emma Grey is the author of Wits’ End Before Breakfast! Confessions of a Working Mum and Unrequited: Girl Meets Boy Band (a novel that she wrote because her teen daughter hated reading but loved Harry Styles). She writes regularly for Australian and international media and offers practical, realistic solutions to the modern challenge of ‘having it all’. She lives near Canberra, with her teen daughters and little boy. Audrey Thomas is an experienced coach and facilitator, whose corporate career spanned the UK, Europe and North America. She works with people to discover and develop their potential and improve effectiveness and lives in Adelaide with her Welsh husband, Dafydd and their two young sons.

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