10 Minute Challenge (AKA Speed Cleaning)
by Lisa Sommer
If you’re like me, you spend more time thinking about your chores than actually doing them. Did you know that one of the biggest time wasters is….wasting time?
A few weeks ago I decided to try an experiment. I wanted to know just how much I could accomplish in a ten minute timeframe. I’m a list person, so prior to beginning the experiment I compiled a list of all the tasks I needed to accomplish. It turned out to be quite a long list, which led me to confess that the only thing I’ve been doing lately is procrastinating! Later I would refer to it as my “No More Excuses, Just Get It Done” list.
The experiment consisted of six days (after all, Sunday is the day of rest) and 10 minutes of task tackling each day.
Day one – the beast which is called the kitchen. I set the microwave timer for exactly 10 minutes. This was the hardest day for me. I felt as if I were rushing because George Clooney was 10 steps away from my front door. Must not let him see this mess! I managed to load the dishwasher, wipe the counters, sweep and mop the floor before the timer went off.
For the remaining 5 days, I continued to tackle my task list working household chores just 10 minutes each day. No more, no less. The results? Wow! I never realized how fast I can actually clean when I’m up against a challenge! After putting it all together, I discovered that I can clean my entire apartment in less than an hour. So why is it that prior to conducting this experiment, it seemed like cleaning took half a day or longer to accomplish?
There was a time saving tip on my old website that I’ve always believed was a fantastic idea, just not something that I needed. Well, mark this day in history, because I am about to admit….I was wrong! Here’s the tip:
“Now this one is for those who need some EXTRA motivation: Set a timer. Allow yourself only 15 minutes to complete a task, such as cleaning the kitchen. When the timer goes off, stop. Move on to another task and set the timer again. You’ll be surprised at how much you can accomplish in 15 minutes and may even work faster knowing that you’re racing against the clock. Do this, and you WILL find yourself with extra free time.”
Believe me on this one – it works!
I love the weekends now. I still challenge myself but now it’s the Saturday morning relay. I still set the timer – now for one hour – and I continue to amaze myself. My chores are done and I have the entire weekend free to spend with family and friends.
No more excuses, just get it done.