The 15-Minute Experiment [follow-up]

I’m on the 15 minute clock right now, so let’s see how it goes…


With a digital countdown hovering, I really did accomplish more than on other days.

For starters, I felt I needed to honor every minute of my three reading sessions. I actually finished articles and chapters, including one on Twitter use for reluctant writers [or is it writers who are reluctant to use Twitter…I’ll get back to you on that.]. Without the experiment, I would have skimmed the article and drifted away after five minutes. [I am, after all, a classic victim Nicholas Carr describes in The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brain.

One hitch in my schedule: I had forgotten that I had signed up for a publishing webinar. Still the experiment attuned me to making efficient use of my work time, so I made sure to nail down two ‘to-do’ list items and exerbiked while watching and taking sweaty notes on the webinar. Not a pretty thing, this drive for productivity.

I also felt compelled to dedicate 15 late-night minutes to a list item I hadn’t addressed during normal hours.

Interesting, however, is my much lower productivity level today, at least in terms of writing and publishing. [Of course, grinding through the formatting of my file for my ebook does leave me with a less-than-accomplished feeling. But grind away, I did.]

On the upside, I have written and mailed five personal notes, completely decluttered my kitchen counter, and dove into my closet to donate over a dozen pieces of clothing for  the local St. Vincent de Paul store. I’m hoping that will score higher at the pearly gates [yes, it is quite the assumption.] than publishing my Kindle book.

All in all, it won’t happen every day, but I liked the way I ratcheted up my focus and the effort is easy to replicate. I’ll be back at it next week and will integrate it with my one focused hour. I also intend to reduce my checklist to ‘Most Important Tasks’.

Curation Station:

The Power of Less by Leo Babauta

How to Be More with Less with Courtney Carver  Feb. 14 Unmistakable Creative Podcast

The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains


  1. kcarr642 says:

    So what exactly are the parameters of the 15 minutes? You’re only allowed to use Internet for that time or have to work on writing goals in that time?

    1. TMH says:

      Hi kcarr642: I selected 15 minutes based on my estimated attention span. I just happened to use the Google ‘set timer to’ feature. Any timer would work and different writers may well have longer [or shorter] attention spans. I went with a reasonable time period to encourage success on my part. Who knows– maybe a month from now I can push it to 30 minutes. So again…random number and random timer. It’s mainly a device to get me to focus, especially on my writing and creating tasks. Thanks for checking in.

    2. TMH says:

      kcarr642: My apologies for not responding. Oy…
      No, it’s not limited to the Internet. Just trying to nail down any task that I want to focus on, but keep drifting away from–reading pages from a book, getting down my daily words in a notebook.
      This post will further explain it.

      Thanks for checking in.

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.