The 15 Minute Rule

It’s amazing what you can achieve in just 15 minutes!


How often do you put off doing something pretty major or important? And how does that make you feel about yourself or even about the task you were meant to do? If you know what that feeling is like it’s never a good one is it?


I stumbled across a great little book called “ The 15 Minute Rule” by Caroline Buchanan. It’s short, easy to read and has some great practical suggestions for getting down to the stuff that we keep putting off.

The solution is to take action in small manageable time frames. She suggests taking action by scheduling just 15 minutes.

How does it work

I read the book a fortnight ago and by coincidence (or not!) I was talking to somebody this week who said “Just set aside 15 minutes each day preferably in the morning and focus on the task and get it done.” The 15 minute rule was obviously trying to grab my attention!

Then I realized that the daily meditations I have been doing on my iphone are guess what? – 15 minutes. Each day I’ve been taking 15 minutes to meditate. Another reinforcement of how focused intention can embed a new practice.

Woman meditating
Photo Credit Bramwell

How do you do it?

It’s simple, all you have to do to get started is to set the timer on your phone, alarm clock or kitchen timer.

Either set up a certain time each day or put it in your diary or just do it now!

You’ll find that once you start 15 minutes flies by and that you will probably want to carry on and do more.

That once daunting task feels much better when you get started. You’ll probably wonder what was so hard about it in the first place. What’s more is that you will feel terrific because you have taken some inspired action.

So what are you waiting for?

What can you use it for?

  • making the phone call you have been putting off doing
  • your tax return
  • cleaning out a cupboard
  • paperwork – going though bills/bank statements
  • learning something new
  • starting any creative project
  • exercise
  • walk
  • listening to music
  • planning an outing
  • doing something you love but haven’t done in ages
  • yoga
  • mindfulness
  • meditation
  • reading a book
  • relaxing
  • planning your week ahead
  • weeding
  • housework
  • dancing
  • having a tricky conversation
  • emails
  • brainstorming

Still stuck?

If you are feeling some resistance then it might be time to figure out how and why you are sabotaging doing what you need to do. If that’s the case then maybe we should have a conversation about it.


Kitchen timer



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