By Cammie Jones


15 minutes—900 seconds…

It sure doesn’t sound like enough time to do much of anything. But, in reality, quite a lot can be accomplished in this short time  frame. You can choose to do nothing during this time, and that is perfectly fine. However, you can also choose to do something productive and check something off your unending “list.” This is perfectly fine, too. Here are a few things you can do in a 15-minute period. Set your timer for 15 minutes and get going!

1) Exercise

There are plenty of exercise programs on On Demand or from a Google search that you can do in 15 minutes or less. The latest data says to get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. I know some days this just does not happen but, in reality, it can. Take these 15 minutes to work on one body part and do lunges and squats around the room for legs or various ab exercises to flatten that tummy. Or, take this time to do some weight work—biceps, triceps, shoulders and back. Take a short walk or run. Anything is better than nothing when it comes to getting that heart rate up!

2) Meditate/Pray

I know I am guilty of this: feeling guilty (for lack of a better word) for just sitting and doing nothing. However, there is not a darn thing wrong with this. In our crazy, busy world, a little time taken out for ourselves just to rest our eyes or pray can do wonders for our psyche. Put on some calming music, turn off your phone and just sit. Let your mind wander and concentrate on praying. After 15 minutes, you can go back to the task at hand or those errands that need to be run.

3) Read

I am so thankful for being a member of a book club because with monthly meetings, it makes me HAVE to read my book. It’s an assignment to me. Taking just 15 minutes of your day to tune out and tune in to a magazine, book or newspaper allows you to find out what is going on in the world or just have a little mindless fun finding out what the “made up celebrities” Kardashians are up to in the latest entertainment publication.

4) Cook a Meal

Yes, it can be done. Start boiling that water and have the pasta ready to go. While that is cooking, cut up some veggies, heat up a prepared sauce and even brown some meat. In 15 minutes, you can have a healthy meal for the family. Pair it with a whole piece of fruit, pour the milk or water for the kids and dinner is served!

5) Clean Out

I know around this time I am thinking of the impending Masters Week. I have so much to do to get my house rental ready. Well, why not start with little tasks. Pick a drawer or two, set the timer and clean it out. Clean out your pantry or fridge and get rid of all that outdated food. It’s fun to try to beat the clock and see what you can accomplish.

6) Quick Clean a Room

With the ease of disposable cleaning products today, you can literally dust, wipe down a restroom and mop and then throw away the towel (literally) after. Pick a room, set your timer and go. No more wringing out the mop or rinsing out the rag. Use this as incentive for your children to clean out their rooms. With a time limit, the task at hand might not be so daunting. You can do anything for 15 minutes! Give a little prize to the child who has the cleanest room.

7) Pay Bills

I am all about Internet bill paying these days but even if you are not, set up your checkbook, stamps, return address labels or stamp on the kitchen table or island and start opening and paying those bills. Believe it or not, that pile will look smaller after 15 minutes!

8) Call a Friend

What? Actually pick up the phone and give someone a call? That is so foreign to many of us now but who doesn’t like to hear a human voice sometimes? I have a list of out-of-town family and friends who I need to call to catch up with. Why not spend 15 minutes and give them a ring?

9) Iron

I cannot stand to iron. That pile just keeps growing and I just keep letting it. I think that ironing is going to take up so much time, but it really doesn’t have to. Plug in the iron, set the timer and start pressing. Even if you only iron a few pieces of clothing, that pile will soon disappear or at least get a little smaller.

10) Take a Nap

I, unfortunately, cannot turn off that quickly but if I have it somewhat planned in my day, I might be able to. This time, set your alarm and lay down for a quarter of an hour. Even if you don’t actually sleep, this short rest time will hopefully refresh you to handle the rest of the day and the fun surprises it has to offer.

These 15-minute fixes are all achievable with a timer and tasks at hand. Have fun doing those things you think you just don’t have time for during the day.

This article appears in the March 2016 issue of Augusta Family Magazine.
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