At the end of each day, right after both my girls have gone to bed, I kick into high gear. I spend about an hour doing as much as I can. I fold laundry, wash dishes, pack lunches, review emails and action items for work, pay bills, write a blog, or whatever else I can squeeze in.
If it sounds a little frantic and tiring, that's because it is. By the end of my spurt of productivity, I'm beat. I hit the bed or the couch in a fit of mental exhaustion. It's only been a couple of weeks since I restarted my five minute challenges, and I'm already over it. The idea was for me to feel less stressed out, not more.
So last night, I tried something different. After the girls went to bed, I sat down, and did NOTHING. No dishes. No bills. No laundry. I put my feet on the sofa and watched the first 15 or 20 minutes of the Karate Kid. (The 1984 version.)
I learned a couple of things:
1. The first 15 minutes of that movie are boring.
2. I am more productive if I allow myself to recharge first.
After watching Daniel lose his first fight, I started my evening routine. I was more relaxed while getting the work done, and for some reason, it didn't take as long. I finished in time to see Mr. Miyagi take down a group of bullies dressed like skeletons.
While Daniel was waxing Mr. Miyagi's surprisingly large car collection, I rethought the purpose of my five-minute challenges. They are not tests to see how big of a mountain I can cram into a mole hill of time. Each five-minute segment is a doorway into an experience. Sometimes, five minutes will be enough. Other times, it will be just the beginning. I just have to keep that in mind.