The Write Life Balance: Ten Minute Tools

This month, Susan Meier gives us examples of tools to help you master your ten minutes in #TheWriteLifeBalance...

Oprah is given credit for saying, “Luck is when preparation meets opportunity.” Though I’d heard the saying long before I’d heard of Oprah, it’s not wrong.

If you really want to be successful at anything, preparation is essential. When thinking about optimizing our ten-minute segments, that means you must have some tools and those tools should be readily available. There is nothing more frustrating (and time-wasting) than having to gather your tools and equipment before you can get to work. So, have them on hand.

I keep glass cleaner, toilet bowl cleaner, paper towels and tub-and-tile cleaner in all three of my bathrooms. If you think that’s overkill (and typing that, I realized you might), you can create a little carry all – a bucket works, so does a bin with a handle – for glass cleaner, toilet bowl cleaner, paper towels and tub-and-tile cleaner and carry it with you from bathroom to bathroom.

I buy tons of Swiffer cloths for dusting (so I never run out) and have a two-quart container of glass cleaner to refill my spray bottles. I have a vacuum cleaner upstairs and one downstairs. I have a bottle of Dawn in the kitchen for dishes, one in the laundry room for stains and one in the upstairs bathroom for stains BEFORE the clothes go into the laundry basket. I don’t ever want to lose my momentum or waste five minutes of the ten allotted for a small job because I ran out of something…or had to race downstairs to get it.

But I also have a pen and small tablet in my purse. We’ve talked primarily about using the ten-minute solution for cleaning and organizing our house, but it works for writing too. When I find myself waiting in a doctor’s office, I pull out my tablet and pen and write something. Maybe it’s a character description or maybe it’s the description of a secondary character who wouldn’t get much attention when I’m whipping through my writing every morning, working to make my word count. Taking that time to delve into something that “feels” irrelevant is so cool because a description that might have been lackluster gets some real thought.

The same is true with writing kisses or beginning chapter hooks and ending chapter hooks.

Have you ever thought what your kisses, descriptions or hooks would be like if you dedicated a little time to them? Even as little as ten minutes? That’s why I have the notebook and pen.

I also like having the pen and paper (or the notepad app on my phone) to create things like shopping

lists. You’re under the dryer at the beautician (getting your hair dyed) and there’s thirty minutes you’ll never get back. So use them. Write a shopping list. Write a to-do list. Create a calendar. Organize your life.

Use the technology at your fingertips on your phone. Or go old school with the pen and tablet. It doesn’t matter. The real bottom line is: If you’re prepared you’ll find tons of things you can do when you get an open block of ten-minutes.

So keep yourself prepared! And join me next month, when we’ll talk about the power of someday.


Susan's next book, The Spanish Millionaire's Runaway Bride, is coming in February. For more information about her and her writing, check out her website, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

What are your favourite 10 minute tools or tips? How about some unsusual ten minute tasks? Tell us in the comments or use #WriteLifeBalance on Social Media to join the #PHS discussion on this subject.

#SusanMeier #TheWriteLifeBalance #Balance #time #findingtime #taketen #housecleaning #householdchores #TheSpanishMillionairesRunawayBride #tools #tenminutetools

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