A Good Twenty Minutes

A Good Twenty Minutes  www.waterintowineblog.comThese day’s the winter sun keeps calling me outside  – so with some phone calls to make I headed out into the garden. Difficult phone calls made easier by the sun on my back.  What I noticed though were the weeds taking over the garden beds, the Guinea Pigs forlorn because their cage was a mess and various bibs and bobs sitting around my verandah left over from painting it the week before – things that should have been put away – yep a week ago.

I was so tempted to just ditch everything else I had to do and spend the afternoon out there in the garden setting right three months of neglect. Everything else I needed to do that day ? – – – – well it just wouldn’t have got done and yes you can  get away with that occasionally but it’s what I do a little too often. Speaking from past experience it creates a ripple affect that has me playing catch up for days. No fun.  So instead –  I set my iPhone timer and  gave myself  20 minutes to see what I could get done.  When the timer went off the Guinea Pig cage was clean – not perfect clean but a whole lot better clean, the brushes, buckets, drop cloths etc from our painting project were put back in the  garage and I had dug all the onion weed out of one small patch of garden  – the one near the front steps that had been annoying me for so long. The rest of the garden still has it’s weeds but there was a whole lot of satisfaction in seeing the guinea pigs smiling, my veranda cleaned off, and one garden bed weed free.  A good 20 minutes. My day still intact. No pressure to have to do more. I can leave more for another day and another 20 minutes.

No photos though  and well you know I like a good photo – especially a before and after.  So  last Saturday I headed out to the back yard – sun again – with my phone  – (timer and camera in one) to see what I could get done  in 20 minutes  – – –  the results were surprising.

To fill you in a bit first though  – I’ve been doing these 20 minute spurts for a while now and this is what I’ve found.

  • You get soooo much more done than you think you will
  • It lasts longer than you think it will – I often  check  the timer because I’m sure the 20 minutes must be up  and usually find I still have  2 or 3 minutes to go.
  • You work faster with more focus because you know there’s an end point when you’ll get to stop, have a break and enjoy what you’ve got done.
  • Big jobs (like the garden) get broken down into small manageable bite size pieces.
  • Getting one thing done in 20 minutes is so much more satisfying  than getting 10 things half done in two hours.

IMG_2515So last Saturday I chose this border of Mondo grass that’s almost over run with onion weed (again) and a little area at the end of our paved area that I like to call my “secret  garden” – we have our fire pit and some seating in there and as the photos will show it was all in need of a bit of attention.


This is the Mondo Grass border  – the light green stuff growing long and lush is unfortunately the dreaded onion weed   IMG_2516My secret garden all sad and neglected IMG_2518 IMG_2519


IMG_2520IMG_2521IMG_2522IMG_2525IMG_2524Not perfect but a whole lot better – and because it’s Saturday afternoon and it’s beautiful out – I set the timer for another twenty minutes and got the last of the onion weed and most of the other weeds out from amongst the pebbles.

IMG_2526IMG_2530IMG_2528IMG_2529While still far from being ready to feature in Better Homes and Gardens  – 40 minutes of TLC means this little corner now looks a lot better and somewhere I might actually want to sit and relax – – – – A wintery Saturday afternoon, sun slowly starting to fade, a nip in the air – time to light a fire. IMG_2532 IMG_2537 And fire being the primal thing that it is, it wasn’t long before the menfolk got a whiff of it and came out of the house to do manly things like break up branches and chop wood. IMG_2555 IMG_2542 Some of the womenfolk too. IMG_2572 Livvy followed. IMG_2592 IMG_2597And marshmallows. IMG_2600 And me – taking photos and gazing at my mostly weed free pebbles and into the fire and enjoying the moment with us all together.IMG_2539

IMG_2604 IMG_2563IMG_2557And when the others drifted inside my boy sat down, put his feet on my lap and talked for a bit.IMG_2605 Surprising how something fairly mundane and ordinary can grow into something entirely different – something unexpected and lovely –   reaping a reward you weren’t even looking for.

A very good 20 minutes. Works for me.

Tracey xxcropped-collage4-1.jpgLinking up today with Works For Me Wednesday WFMW-Logo    Fridays Blog Booster Party Friday-Banner

Celebrate it Sunday


Sundays Down Under


If you have a minute stay around and read my Wednesday Link Up Post “The Best Laid Plans” here.

14 thoughts on “A Good Twenty Minutes

  1. What a great idea – 20 minutes. Love the idea of time-boxing tasks – I work best when under a deadline – and 20 minutes is so manageable. You got a LOT done in your 20 minute intervals!


  2. I just have to giggle, my yard is in a much neglected state. I really need to adopt your 20 minute solution as I never seem to have the time to tend to the yard!


  3. I really like this idea and have heard about people managing their lives so well in 20 minute chunks. I might try it next weekend!

    Thanks for joining the #sundaysdownunder link up. I’ve pinned your post.

    Best wishes,
    Natasha in Oz


  4. First, thank you so much for stopping by and sharing this over at Celebrate it Sunday. I love the idea of breaking down any task into 20 minute blocks of time. I know I try to take breaks when I am writing, get up, take a walk, do a household chore. Coming back to writing after a break gives me a fresh look at things.


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