When I first published this post back at the beginning of 2010 I was starting the realise the power of twenty minute creativity sessions. Over the years these sessions have become my preferred way of working and the way that I’ve completed some quite large projects.
A few days ago, when I needed a gentle nudge to get moving, I set my trusty kitchen timer for twenty minutes to see how much work I could get in my studio before it rang (and planned a small treat for when I’d finished!).
This got me to thinking about what sort of things I could do with those little pieces of time, things that hopefully would also help to create a sense of momentum.
20 things to do in 20 minutes to create a sense of momentum
- Make a drawing.
- Sow on a button.
- Make and drink a pot of tea.
- Read. This is a habit I’m trying to make a regular one this year, twenty minutes of reading every day.
- Yoga. I’m amazed how even twenty minutes of yoga everyday makes a difference to my suppleness and general feeling of well-being.
- Crochet. Something I’m just learning (thank you Mary Gordon!), but it already feels like a perfect low energy creative habit.
- Start something you’ve been putting off. I really MUST start to work on my accounts!
- Make and eat boiled eggs and soldiers. When my mother first died I used this one a lot and got very good at quickly making this comforting meal.
- Clean. This is where the 20 Minute Trick started for me. I began to set a timer in the mornings and see how much cleaning I could get done before it went off. I was in a race against the clock and really enjoyed the challenge. I usually ended up with a clean kitchen, freshly made bed or hoovered carpets and felt energised and as though I’d done some exercise!.
- Go for a walk.
- Write a postcard to a friend.
- Write a book. This is something I’m going to attempt this year. A whole book, written and illustrated in little twenty minute chunks of time. Edit: I completed this in March 2013.
- Tidy your desk.
- Knit. Knitting can be very calming and meditative. Twenty minutes of knitting done regularly can soon turn into a scarf, pair of socks, jumper, or even a blanket.
- Take a shower.
- Write a blog post.
- Write a list of three things you’d like to do today and see if you can do (or at least start) one of them. Edit: These days I’ve scaled this back to the one-thing to-do list.
- Do nothing. Sometimes just sitting a pondering, or staring into space is a very good use of twenty minutes. Taking a pause can help clarify what you need or want to do next, or just help you feel more relaxed and ready to get on with your day. Commuters have their commute to sit and stare and ponder in. The self-employed often don’t have that travelling time, so why not just make some anyway?!.
- Eat some cake. One of my personal favourite uses of twenty minutes! Alternatively, mix up a cake and leave it to cook while you get on with something else.
What will you do for twenty minutes?