The 30-Minute Solution That Helped My Sanity


The 30-Minute Solution

I have more things on my To Do List than I have time to complete them. 

I’m notorious for thinking I can complete 15 minutes worth of tasks in 5 minutes. That way of thinking contributes to my frequent frustration that I haven’t done anything. I haven’t “really” not done anything. It’s just that I only did 10 things when I thought I had time to do 20.

Several months ago, I was complaining talking to my husband about how I felt overwhelmed at home, and he came up with a shockingly simple solution. On the days he took our daughter to daycare, I would not go in to work 30 minutes early. Allow me to explain.

We left the house at 7 a.m. to drop off our daughter at daycare. My husband took her twice a week, and I took her three times a week. I had to be at work by 8 a.m., and my commute from both home and daycare was about 30 minutes. I’d leave for work at 7 when my husband took drop-off duty in order to arrive 30 minutes early at work. I told myself that I’d leave work 30 minutes early. But in reality, I’d get called into a meeting or try to finish something at work instead of leaving early.

The 30-Minute Solution

Instead of rushing to work, I’d spend those extra 30 minutes doing something for me or my family:

  • Load or unload the dishwasher
  • Vacuum the living room
  • Put a meal in the crock pot for dinner
  • Shred a stack of junk mail
  • Finish getting ready for work because I hit the snooze button too many times
  • Drop off dry cleaning
  • Or even eat breakfast while sitting at home in my kitchen!

That last one always makes me feel like A Responsible Adult Who Has Her Life Together since my breakfast would otherwise consist of crackers in the car or whatever I found to eat at my desk at work.

Making It Work

I told myself that I only had time to do one thing and that I had to walk out the door at 7:25 (which obviously means 7:30). That way, if I finished unloading the dishwasher at 7:10, I could get in a bonus round of shredding junk mail while giving myself a mental high five for getting extra things done!

There were still days when I used my 30 minutes to go in to work early. But I found that I felt so much more productive if I could accomplish something at home instead. When I got to my desk at 8 after having vacuumed the living room and gotten dinner started, I felt like I could tackle anything the corporate world (or my toddler) threw at me that day.

This is me officially telling the world, “My husband had a great idea!”


Comments are closed.