Setting a timer for 15 minutes of speed cleaning with the kids is a well known tactic in our home, and it takes the edge off. If I have my daughter sit down for 10-15 minutes of copywork daily during the school year by June the pages of pencil lined paper look impressive. Just a little at a time, with consistency, yields results.
I have been planning my summer goals, tasks I want to accomplish during these long, quiet, school-free summer days. The irony is that I haven't had a long, quiet day, with four hours to work on a project yet. 15 minutes to the rescue.
I have big projects, work to spend entire days completing, but many things can be broken down into bits and pieces. Here are my 15 minute, as many days a week as I can manage, summer goals:
1. Organize the closets one shelf or box at a time. I don't think it is unreasonable to glance at every thing we own at least once a year, organize it, cull it, remember where it is.
2. Read some of my kids' school books for next year. I love to know what they are reading, to form my own opinion of the quality of the book, then to be able to discuss it with them when they read the book in the fall. Thankfully, some of it is easy reading and goes quickly. I'll have to pick and choose because I have too many students, all of them readers and my ninth grader (yikes!) is reading "adult" books. Page by page I am getting through The World of Captain John Smith by Genevieve Foster; you see, I started with something simple.
3. Start a quilt. A simple one; I'm not a real quilter. One day for cutting, one for stitching, one for ironing. I won't finish by the end of the summer with those short time increments, but I will have a lot of fabric pieced together, and might be close enough to finish it off with a marathon day in August. I'm itching to be creating something.
4. Crafts. I'm limiting my self to two, because I get carried away, then overwhelmed and end up resenting my true priorities. Two types. I want to stitch some little zipper pouches for cash savings and make-up bags. And I want to make some strawberry shaped, lavender sachets; my girls by my side.
5. Weed the garden. Early in the morning before the heat becomes unbearable, I'll be out there, coffee beside me, spade in hand.
6. Work on memorizing Colossians. I took up the goal from Ann at Holy Experience, two verses a week sounded so very doable. I didn't consider that it would be two verses a week plus the verses we memorized as a family, making the task slightly more challenging. I was somewhere in Chapter 1 when I gave up the cards with my hand copied verses. But I have not given up Colossians. I have been reading it whole, all in one sitting, often out loud to myself. My 15 minute summer goal is to read it through every day. I won't have the book memorized by August, but when I take up my hand written cards again I expect those words of Paul's will be familiar and easily hidden in my heart.
I am trusting for wonderful results from a little time multiplied by consistency.