A while back a friend gave me a book called Organised Home. At the time, I was lodging with a family and their five children, and lived in one room of their home. Having just one room meant that I spent very little time doing household chores. I cannot remember whether or not John and I were engaged at the time, but regardless, I felt excited about the prospect of one day having a home to look after. One of the principles in this book that stuck in my mind back then, was to allocate twenty minutes to get a job done. The author was not suggesting that all household jobs only take twenty minutes, but rather, she was emphasising just how much can be accomplished in that short space of time, and by simply setting aside a short period of time where the end was always in sight, the task of keeping on top of things can feel far less overwhelming.
Recently, I have been reminded of the helpfulness of this principle. On the days that I am feeling particularly tired from pregnancy and work, it is very easy to see hours slip by during my time and home, and nothing gets accomplished. So I have been trying to remind myself just how little time it takes to get certain things done. It takes twenty minutes (or less) to...
+ tidy the kitchen
+ make a loaf of bread, ready for its first proving
+ hoover the house
+ hang out the washing
+ put the food shopping away
+ make a batch of cookies (although baking is something I always manage to find time for)
I am also trying to put this principle into practise when it comes to creativity and spiritual growth. Twenty minutes is all it takes to start cultivating a bit of beauty and growth. The task of turning our wasteland into a garden is one that will take many more hours of work, and to me, it is an overwhelming task. So rather than simply beginning, I have become stuck and failed to do anything at all to start to bring life to our piece of barren land. Yesterday, I purchased some tulip bulbs in anticipation of the new life that comes with Spring time. I love seeing flowers appear soon after the Winter frosts start to fade, and I wanted to cultivate some of this beauty in a small way.