Just Fifteen Minutes

What can you possibly accomplish creatively in just 15 minutes?  Actually quite a bit. 

The tendency is to think of that quarter of an hour as a toss-away.  It’s only a little bit of time, we reason, and so we let it go, unused.    I think we should give those 15 minutes more respect.     

I teach a workshop on business presentation skills.  Part of the training focuses on how to prepare the content of a presentation.   The participants are always surprised to find that they can make an important start on planning a presentation in 15 minutes.  In that time, they can answer some background questions that become the basis for developing talking points and then begin to brainstorm content ideas. 

This approach gets you past Blank Page Syndrome and gives you a blueprint to follow that allows you to continue to work in 15 minute increments –  really handy as life demands that you answer emails, attend meetings, work on other projects and participate in conference calls, all in addition to preparing the presentation. 

I know the value of 15 minutes.  But the other day, I was having one of those days where I was running from one thing to the next, feeling the stress pile up.  In the afternoon, I finally found myself with 15 minutes that were “free.”   My first inclination was just to sit – after all it was only 15 minutes.  Instead, I sat down and wrote the beginning of a story.  I got lost in it.  For a quarter of an hour, I was focused on nothing but putting words on the screen.   When my 15 minutes was up, I not only had a draft, but calm had been restored.   Not bad for just 15 minutes! 

© Lynn Wyvill 2011

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