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I'm a wife to my "Mr. Right". A momma of five. A maker of slow food and simple living. A collector of memories, a keeper of books, and a champion for books that make memories. An addict who likes my half-and-half with a splash of coffee. A fractured pot transformed by the One Who makes broken things beautiful. I heart homeschooling, brake for libraries, and am glad you're here with me on the journey! Be sure to subscribe to my monthly newsletter. Or, follow along with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, Youtube, or Pinterest.

Fifty 10-Minute Power Tasks for Homeschool Moms

carrying laundry basket

In Gulliver’s Travels, the Lilliputians assume that because Gulliver keeps checking his watch, it must be his god. While it's been a few decades since I've owned a watch, I do have a smartphone. And like Gulliver, I find myself checking it often. 

I wonder what the Lilliputians would think of that? 

Most of the time, I'm not using my phone to call (Who even does that anymore?) or text. I'm simply scrolling. As a work-at-home homeschool mom of five, I have several large responsibilities that occupy most of my day. But like anyone, I have small ten-minute cracks of time here and there to spend how I want--unscheduled moments that appear between one big responsibility and the next. 

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At first blush, ten minutes doesn't seem like enough time to accomplish anything, and so, I reach for my digital devil and mindlessly give hearts and thumbs-ups. Not always, mind you, but often enough. By the end of the day, those between-the-crack minutes add up to a pretty significant amount of time.

Annie Dillard once wrote, 

"How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives."

While I think she was mostly referring to the larger commitments we make for our time like job choice and recreational hobbies, it's fair to assume that our use of every moment counts. Time is the one commodity of life that is limited. Once a minute is spent, it's gone. You can't buy it back. You can't earn it back. 

Fifty 10-Minute Power Tasks for Homeschool Moms #homeschool #productivity #homeschoolmoms

So, I've decided that while I can't make time, I can use my time more wisely so that by the end of each day, each week, each year, I'll be able to look back and know that I've lived well. I'll chip away at larger jobs and accomplish small but often forgotten tasks in order to free up more time for myself later. 

I'll pick up my phone less in order to live my life more. I've no doubt that future Jamie will thank me. 

So I've made a list of ways I can better spend my ten-minute chunks of time. Most of the tasks are phone-free. The rest are mini-missions that will squeeze more "smart" out of my phone usage. A list will give me direction and will ensure that I don't waste my extra moments just trying to decide what to do with them.

I figured that as long as I was making a list, I might as well share it with you. 

10 Minute Non-phone Tasks for Homeschool Moms

  1. Make a list of 3-5 easy, crowd-pleasing meals and their basic ingredients. Place this list where you'll be able to access it on a busy week. Refer to the list as needed.
  2. Walk around one room in your house with a trash bag. Collect things to throw away and/or donate.
  3. Clean out your purse.
  4. Clean out and wipe down one kitchen drawer or cupboard.
  5. Look through a cookbook and mark a few potential recipes to try in the coming week.
  6. Make a list of 10-15 things one of your big kids can do with your tot to keep them busy while you're working one-on-one with one of their siblings. Refer to the list as needed.
  7. Read a chapter of a book just for yourself.
  8. Sort/answer the mail.
  9. Grade/file completed school work.
  10. Put one load of laundry in the washer/dryer.
  11. Pull out freezer ingredients for the evening's meal.
  12. Cut/prep dinner ingredients.
  13. Write a personal note to a friend.
  14. Pray.
  15. Write a love note for your spouse or one of your children. Place it on their pillow. 
  16. Read a few chapters of the Bible.
  17. Make To-Do lists for the kids for the next day's home and/or school responsibilities. 
  18. Write a few verses on 3x5 cards and place these around your home for daily encouragement.
  19. Toss out old leftovers from the fridge. 
  20. Water your house plants.
  21. Clean the kitchen sink.
  22. Clean out car clutter. 
  23. Sweep the front/back porch.
  24. Unload the dishwasher.
  25. Exercise. (Run in place, do jumping jacks, and/or burpees.)
  26. Put meat in a crockpot for shredding/freezing for later. Even if it's not meant for today's meal. It will come in handy eventually.
  27. Create a gratitude list. 
  28. Test pens and markers in your school supply bin. Toss any that no longer work. 
  29. Declutter the top of your desk or nightstand. 
  30. Clean all the mirrors in the house.
  31. Take a walk around the block.
  32. Clean out a closet.
  33. Write a To-Do list for yourself for tomorrow.
  34. Clean combs, brushes, and/or makeup brushes.
  35. Organize/restock your diaper bag, church bag, beach bag, etc.
  36. Start a grocery list.
  37. Plan next week's menu.
  38. Eat a healthy snack.
  39. Sit and close your eyes. 
  40. Prepare a favorite hot/cold beverage and sip it in the sun.
using an Android phone

10 Minute Purposeful Phone Tasks

  1. Simplify your phone. Delete old contacts, unused apps, or unwanted photos.
  2. Unfollow or unsubscribe from social media accounts or email lists that are no longer helpful. 
  3. Listen to voice mail messages. 
  4. Return phone calls/make appointments.
  5. Add/edit an order from your favorite grocery app.
  6. Order library books online.
  7. Answer emails/clean out your inbox. 
  8. Send an encouraging text to a spouse or friend. 
  9. Find and follow a few kid-friendly podcasts for the homeschool day.
  10. Add songs to an inspiring playlist to play during art time. 
Ten minutes might not seem like a lot of time, but 600 seconds used well each day can add up to big things by the end of the week, month, and year. Ten minutes can help you eat a whole elephant one bite at a time. 

What would you add to this 10-minute power list? 

6 comments:

  1. Thanks for some new ideas! Another thing I do in small windows on my phone is practice memory verses on an app.

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    Replies
    1. That's a great idea. Do you have an app that you prefer?

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    2. Remember Me is a good app for Scripture memorization!

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    3. That's good to know, Dawn. Thank you!

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  2. Love this! Is there an easy way to print this list out? I need a paper version!

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