12.3 SQ Episode 022 – The 15 Minute Episode

February 13, 2011

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We are working on our focusing skills in this podcast.

A good goal to get yourself motivated to work on a project is to tell yourself you are only going to work on the project for 15 minutes.

Once you get started, you can either extend or stop your time on your project, but this gets you started, and gives you an escape to get into and out of your sewing room.

How to help structure your 15 minute “power session”

1.  Prepare

  • Set rulesguidelines to how you want to handle your special time. (use your left brain here so it’s not left out later)
    • How long do you want to focus
    • How will you handle interruptions
    • DON’T RUSH just because you’re timed
    • How many days a week do you want to do this?  Daily? weekly?  Do you want to carryover into the next day?
  • Clean your space
    • Spending a small amount of time before working on your project to clean up will free up your brain for the fun stuff to come
    • It helps to find your projects before you start!
    • If you skip the cleaning, you may regret it because your brain can’t truly focus.
    • Just spend a little bit of time at this – don’t obsess!
  • Set your intentions and tell others
    • Let people know you want to block out your time
    • Be up front and don’t back down on giving up your time
    • Keep your word so that people will respect when you say 15 minutes, they trust that you are done in 15 minutes – helps better next time
  • Plan out your strategy for the work to come

2.  Focusing (working)

  • Set a timer
    • You can find a timer:
      • on your microwave
      • on your oven
      • online
      • your cell phone
      • your ipod
      • a digital watch
  • Stay on 1 project for the specific amount of time
    • During this 15 minutes, focus on one thing, don’t switch to a new project
    • After one session is over, you can switch in the next session
    • You can break up the hour with 3 different projects this way if you stop after each 15 minutes
  • Take breaks in between sessions
    • Go check up on your kids, pets, significant others
    • Stretch and breathe and unfocus for a while
  • Give yourself an escape if you don’t like a project
    • Stick with a project until you have done either 3 15 minute sessions
    • Or you have completed two separate items of the same technique
    • Give yourself a little bit of time to know if you like it
    • Give yourself time to learn a technique once, because the 2nd time around it may not be as hard as the first time

3.  Attitude

  • Align your attitude with the current progress, rather than product finished
  • Remove the negative voices that judge
    • how much progress you have made
    • how much you don’t think you are good at the technique
    • how you hate structure
  • This is not a punishment technique, but a freeing opportunity to work on something you like to do
  • Don’t be hard on yourself if you don’t get it done every day
  • Have fun with your projects
  • Give yourself a big hand for all you’ve done

**Edited 08-28-2011: You can see the 15 minute challenge & link up with Kate at Life In Pieces blog

We talked about the home sewing front, and regular blog readers will find this in the past blog posts.

We got into a discussion about work, snow, sunshine, the benefits of working on a complicated project in helping to boost your confidence, and my quilt guild, and my quilt guild’s current opportunity quilt to be drawn in July, and how I am looking forward to being an active part of the quilt show with my guild.

My guild’s shutterfly website is found here, and I have taken an active role in getting pictures taken and posted for the quilt guild – something small I can do to give back to the guild and pay it forward.

Lastly, I talked about the velocity results, how I learned a few things about a giveaway, and the results, which can be found in the previous post.

The list of blog commenters who haven’t been thanked publicly since December are:

Rachel, Debby NY. Glenna, Laura, Janet, Jackie Jackie’s Quilting Corner CV Quiltworks, LabMom, Jane, Linda P, knitwish, jenyjenny, Pam Hip to be Square, Anne Marie Unearthing Quiltabilty, Sandi Quilt Cabana Corner, Jane, Leah, Colleen, Jill, Nonnie, Barbara, Tami, Lisa, Gail, Ballardquilter

emailers (not thanked in the podcast, but still appreciated) since December

Pierce, Robyn, Brye Lynn Sew Stitch Create, Reeze, Sarah Stash Resolution, Lily, Michele, Celia, Kelley Pioneer Quilter, Allison Within a Quarter Inch, Kathi, Jane, Marguerita, Victoria


  1. Just wanted to say I really enjoyed this podcast you had a lot of information I could use…. MAYBE A GOOD KICK in the PANTS to get me going again.

    YOUR VOICE overs had me in stitches.


  2. great ideas! I am definately going to try the 15 minute thing. Maybe I will get some things accomplished!

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