The Last 15 Minutes – How to make them productive

In this video we’re going to talk about what to do in your last 15 minutes.

No, I don’t mean the last 15 minutes of your life although it might be a good time to reflect or do something really fun if you know you’ve only got 15 minutes left of your life. I’m talking about the other last 15 minutes – the ones you get quite often throughout the day. The ones that are the last 15 minutes before lunch, before a meeting, and before the end of your day

So, how do we take these last 15 minutes and make them productive?

We tend to decide to not do anything with them or fritter them away or not really use them effectively.

  1. Last 15 Minutes Before a Meeting – so let’s talk about the first last 15 minutes – 15 minutes before a meeting you’re gonna have to go into. So what do you do in the last 15 minutes before a meeting? I highly recommend you do some meeting preparation. Pull up the agenda. Are you going to be presenting during the meeting? Is there anything you need to get ready for that? Are there some topics on the agenda that you are a really good person to provide resources for? Or are there some topics on the agenda that you have questions about? If you prepare these questions or answers ahead of time you’ll go into the meeting looking a lot more ready for it. You’ll shine because you’re the one asking the really great questions or providing the great information. This is an opportunity to show upper management how on the ball you are.
  2. Last 15 Minutes Before Lunch – You’re about to go up for lunch maybe with your coworkers maybe by yourself, so what do you do with that last 15 minutes before lunch? As many of you know I work in 30-minute blocks of time working on a project for 30 minutes that I set on a timer. At the end of the 30 minutes, I take a short break come back for another 30. Well, 15 minutes is half of one of those blocks, so why would I give up a whole half of a productive block? So when I have 15 minutes before lunch I set my timer for the full 30 minutes, push the button to star, and then work on the project for 15 minutes. When lunch comes around I push pause and I come back after lunch and I work on it for the other 15 minutes. This puts me ahead after lunch as I have already spent 15 minutes on my next block/project. Another benefit is even if in the 15 minutes you only get started on the project, you’re giving it some thought over lunch. Some of that percolates on your back burner in your brain and you come up with other great ideas while you’re out for lunch.
  3. Last 15 minutes Before You Go Home – for most of us, this is low energy time. We’ve given it our all, all day. We’re lagging at this point. So what can you do that’s productive in this low energy time? One option is to plan your next day. Go through and say what are my priorities tomorrow? What are my goals? Take any of the tasks you didn’t get done today and prioritize them over the next few days so when you come in tomorrow you can hit those tasks first thing in the morning when you’re sharp. Another idea is to hold back certain low energy tasks. I do this all the time I save my low energy tasks for late in the day – things like answering emails, doing some research, trying out some new things, filing. Things I want to look into, things that are not a high priority and are simple enough that they don’t really need my brain to be at its best. These are fast things I can do very quickly. Email is a great one. I answer all my simple emails during my low energy time.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this video please hit the like and subscribe button to encouraged me to create more and thank you so much for listening. Have a productive day.

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