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15 Minutes or Less

A Start





Time Management

To-Do Lists


  • Vacuum or sweep the available floor space in the area you want to declutter and organize.

  • Take that bag of donations you've been waiting to add to (for weeks) and put it in the car for drop off tomorrow.

  • Organize your junk drawer.  This really can be done in 15 minutes.  Take out everything that belongs some place else (take it there AFTER you finish the drawer), toss the trash and throw everything else back in! It doesn't need to be perfectly organized, it just needs to close.

  • Go through your purse, wallet or backpack and toss any trash, put the loose change in your piggy bank and take out anything else that doesn't belong there.

  • Go through your center console in your car and toss any trash, put the loose change in your piggy bank and take out anything else that doesn't belong there.

  • Grab 5 things to put away (papers, toys, clothes, your choice) and put them away.


  • Clear your computer desktop.  Move the inactive documents and files to their appropriate storage locations.


  • Sort your email Inbox by "From" and look for groups of emails that you can delete or move en masse.

  • Go through your email in-box and delete or move those that are over 2 months old.


  • Not ready to let go or act on a piece of paper?  Put it in your IDEA Box.

  • Move the shredder closer and shred as you go.

  • Shred a handful of papers from your "to shred" pile.

  • Go through a stack of magazines and let go of those that are older than 6 months — do NOT flip through them, just let them go.

  • Set one bill up for automatic payment.

  • Go through this month's IDEA Box file.


  • Check the expiration date of the food in your emergency kit.  Change it out if it's less than a year away. 

  • Check the batteries in your emergency kits.  Change them out for fresh ones. 

  • Fill your car with gas before it gets below half.  Even now that gas prices are higher, making sure your car is full saves time sitting in the long lines during an emergency.

  • Check out my Emergency Preparedness resources.


  • Make a list of calls to make, including the phone numbers.  Take it with you.

  • Make one of those calls.

  • Set your phone's alarm to remind you to take your medicine, vitamins and stretch breaks.  I've set my reminder to bark (because I ignore most alarms, but I always pay attention when my dogs bark).  My sister sets her phone alarm to a dhuck quack (what better sound is there?).

  • Build your "No" muscle by listening to my 10 minute audio clip

  • Schedule an additional 15 minutes at the end of each meeting and use it to write up your notes, return files to their proper home or to email that request or response you promised.  Will you need more than 15 minutes? Maybe, but 15 is more than you took before. 

  • Make a call to get assistance, support and help.  For some resources on the Big Island click here.


  • Rename your list to Could-Do list (if you have the time, you could do it)

  • Make one phone call from your list.

  • Jot down your top 3 priorities today on a sticky note.  Display that note where you will see it, to remind yourself to return your focus to what you want to accomplish today. 

  • Take a 5 minute break before you tackle the next task on your list so that you can reset your focus.

  • Look at the other reminders you have posted around you.

  • Act on one of those reminders.

  • Take down reminders that have been there for a while.


  • Find 5 items on your on your desk or in your work area that you can put back where they belong.

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