Thursday, March 19, 2009

Make It Fast!

I've been busy lately -- busier than usual even with work ramping up more than normal given everything happening in the economy and the addition of two major fundraisers for the wee ones' preschool that I've been putting together.

While sometimes I feel like things are sliding, there are also days that I need to recognize that I'm getting stuff done. And that I just need to take a few minutes to focus and get something done.

Today's reminder of things I can get done in less than three minutes:

1) Make breakfast. The wee ones and I can have all our breakfasts complete in less than three minutes. And you know how important that meal is. And since I try to sleep in as late as possible and still make the bus (you might hear a few Hurry up! Drink your milk, the bus will be here in one minute!'s coming from my house once in awhile -- like every twenty-four hours or so). However, because I've made granola in advance, all I have to do is scoop it out with the half cup scoop that lives in the granola container and then plop on some yogurt for Mister Man and I and soy milk for Little Miss. Unless Mister Man wants frozen waffles, which is just as easy.

2) Brush my teeth. Although this is a skill my husband -- and surely others -- can accomplish in thirty seconds or less, it takes me just under three minutes. My toothbrush is one of those cool Sonicare ones that beeps every thirty seconds to remind me to move to a new portion of my mouth. The actual brushing takes two minutes and thirty seconds, giving me thirty seconds to get that toothbrush ready and then rinse and spit at the end. Scratch that, the rinsing puts me over three minutes. I'll just spit and save myself the time.

3) Plug in my phone. That, of course, assumes that I can find my charger. But when it starts dinging angrily at me, reminding me that I've pushed it to the limits and I really ought to charge it in case there's a school or daycare calling with an issues, I need to listen to it the first time, not the twentieth, and go plug it in. And yes, it's plugged in right now. And it didn't even power down before I did it. Yay, me!

4) Fill up my water bottle. Along those same lines, there are times that I get involved in something and just don't take the time to fill up my water bottle. Like right now, as I can feel the back of my throat slowly turning into the Sahara and my fingers swelling due to dehydration. And yet, there is a 40 ounce water bottle (that I generally refill three to four times... when I think of it) sitting ten feet away. Excuse me a moment as I go get a drink.

Ok, I'm back. Let's continue with the list.

5) Put on makeup. I'm not that high maintenance. I can do a reasonable day job in less than three minutes. In fact, I did it yesterday morning. As I should have been walking out the door to presidents' council. Just because I am a mom -- and one who works from home two days a week -- that doesn't mean I need to look like one. I need to model myself after those ladies who lunch who drop their kids off at our daycare. Ok, maybe not. But let's at least make sure they don't turn their noses up at me, shall we?

6) Create my to do list. I know I function better with a to do list that reminds me exactly what I need to get done each day. I feel better when I can erase things from my oh-so-sweet-best-gift-ever-from-my-SIL purple dry erase board as I complete each task. That way I don't forget to do things like ummm address the envelope to the Flyers for the donation request or write my letter for the PTO newsletter or any of the other things I should have done yesterday but forgot about.

7) Download pictures from my camera. Ok, this should take me less than three minutes to accomplish. If I did it on a regular basis. Right now, I have photos from January on the camera. I've been uploading directly to Blogger from my camera, shame on me. I'm one bad drop away from losing great pictures. Maybe I just need to add that to the to do list that I've yet to write.

8) Make a difference. Again, this is something that I could so do in way less than three minutes. I told our parent liaison that I loved her shirt on Tuesday, and you should have seen her beam. That was ten seconds, max. A friend of mine is going through a rough patch right now. I sent her a happy little card. Between writing it out and addressing it, I am sure I got a big grin without spending three minutes. And I know I can use all the smiles I can get.

9) Delete five emails. It's possible that my email inbox(es) is(are) overflowing. If I don't get to an email right away, it sits there. Forever. I have some emails that were once relevant but no longer are. And since I have so many in there, I don't even know what I need to pay attention to and what I can safely ignore. And so I keep pretending they aren't there. If I take three minutes a day to clean some out, I'll be back to a manageable amount in no time flat.

10) Go visit a new blog. Ok, that's assuming that the blogger has a reasonable length post. There are so many fun blogs out there though, and I know I can't visit them all. But if I can at least get to some of the ones I enjoy reading and some of the blogs belonging to people who show me some comment love (see, more reasons not to lurk!), that is a lovely way to destress.

Well, that was a half hour of my day. I've got forty-eight more of those yet to go. But right now... I need to run. I have a to do list to go create. And erase.

What else can I (or you) do in under three minutes?


septembermom March 19, 2009 at 8:40 AM  

Fun post! I like your list. You're right that you can make a difference in someone's day with a nice comment:)

Like you, I'm low maintenance in the makeup department. I can also shower in three minutes. Super quick when my three year old is yelling outside the door :) If I sprint, I can get to the bus stop at the top of my block in three minutes. Good reason to exercise!

Heather March 19, 2009 at 8:55 AM  

Change a diaper!

Chloe March 19, 2009 at 8:55 AM  

All breakfast should be quick and easy to make! Nobody needs complications at that time in the morning!

And I think that everyone should spend three minutes a day making sure that they make someone smile. How much nicer the world would be. :)

{Came over from Mama Kat's workshop}

xxxx March 19, 2009 at 10:22 AM  

This is so great! I'm always thinking, I don't have time, I don't have time ... but I do if I look at it this way!

Cupcake Dessert March 19, 2009 at 10:39 AM  

i love your list!! i need to start a to-do list daily! it would probably save me time in the long run :)

Cookie March 19, 2009 at 12:02 PM  

40 ounce water bottle?! That is huge!
I can't do anything in under 3 minutes.

CDB March 19, 2009 at 2:39 PM  

You can upload pictures directly to Blogger? Must figure that out. I'm with you on the makeup, I'm also a waterholic, my phone is continually beeping the low-charge beep at me, and I'm SOO with you on the new blog visitation!


Country Mouse, City Mouse March 19, 2009 at 2:48 PM  

I love to find new blogs to hello! Nice to meet you!

Carrin March 19, 2009 at 3:22 PM  

I love the make a differnce one! I think we forget how quick and easy that can be sometimes.

Susie March 19, 2009 at 3:58 PM  

That's a great list:-)

Anonymous March 19, 2009 at 4:54 PM  

What a great list, under 3 minutes huh... How about 3 minutes 3 beers, lol.

Unknown March 19, 2009 at 5:25 PM  

I think most of use can do the tooth brush, and it seem that a lot can empty the dish washer fast, but you are so right that we can make a difference in three minutes anytime and anywhere.

Good list.

anymommy March 20, 2009 at 12:11 AM  

A couple of these would take me way more than three minutes. Like email. Groan. But, it would be a start!

Michelle March 20, 2009 at 3:46 PM  

septembermom - Wow, a three minute shower? How many siblings did you have growing up!

Heather - Ooo, that's a good one. I used to be able to do that, but I'm getting out of practice now.

Astharis - Well, it should be quick and easy unless someone else is making it for me. Then it can be all lovely and fancy and complicated ;)

Swishy - I know. I'm the same way. I got SO much done yesterday by thinking about this. And it felt pretty good, too!

Wifey Dessert - According to the time management class I took years ago, it's supposed to save time. I just got out of the habit, but it really helps me focus.

Cookie - From Costco, shockingly :) I like my water. And I'm sure you can think of something!

CDB - Oooo, my doppelganger :) And yes, you can upload directly to Blogger. Just turn on the camera, plug it in, and then in searching for the file, choose your camera as the source.

pam - It's lovely to meet you, too!

Carrin - We really do, and it's one that can have such an impact on so many people, not just the one person we think of.

Susie - Thanks. Glad you like it!

newlyweds - I've never been able to do that. And yes, I graduated from college ;)

Dan - Thanks. I actually can't unload a dishwasher that quickly. I have a whole system of where everything goes and how it goes. And I'm slow?

anymommy - Hey, I just said deleting. I didn't say anything about reading or replying!

Melisa Wells March 21, 2009 at 6:44 PM  

#8 is my favorite. :)

And you know this, but I LOVE lists: this kind, and the to-do variety.

I bet we could make a kick-ass list if we did it together, brainstorming. LOL

Michelle March 21, 2009 at 9:39 PM  

Melisa - Of course you like lists! I think I'd be a bit afraid of what our lists would look like if we did them together though!

Angela March 22, 2009 at 9:14 PM  

I totally agree. In a desperate attempt to actually regain control of all the stuff that spun out of control last fall, I'm working with Flylady's fifteen minute rule. Her rule is, "you can do anything for fifteen minutes." For me, this translates to encouragement to do things I normally hate, like running (yep, it helps, but i hate it!), emptying the dishwasher, sorting mail, etc. I like your three minute variation! I agree with your statement about focus, too. That is something I'm learning - the importance of taking a few mintues to actually focus on what I'm doing, so I do it well. Not just trying to multitask into oblivion. So far, it's helping!

Michelle March 23, 2009 at 10:14 PM  

Angela - Flylady scares me :) But yay to you for following it. Can't wait to hear what comes of it.

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