How 15 Minutes a Day Can Change Your Life

Considering all the errands you have to run, all the things you have to do for work or for school, all the chores you must do to make your home minimally presentable on the inside and on the outside, all the activities to which you must drive the children, all the regulations to follow, all the bills to pay, all the social media or tv series to keep up with, all the friends to see, all the global issues to worry about, all the tragedies to be sad about, all the Joneses to keep up with, all the temptations to resist, all the bad habits you’re having trouble kicking, all the good habits you’re having trouble starting, all the decisions to make, all the parts of your body to feel inferior about, all the items on your bucket list that you’re afraid you’ll never get to. How much more overwhelming can things get?

Table of Contents

The Dangerous Trap of Multitasking

Many people report constantly multitasking, trying to just get through the day and navigate from one thing to another, barely catching up with the fast pace of everything that needs to get done. When you’re busy, it’s easy to lose any sense of priority, and panic because everything seems urgent.
People take pride in being multitasking masters, but could it all be in their heads? The truth of the matter, though, is that multitasking hurts your brain.

Our Brains Are Not Designed For Multitasking

Here is an interesting fact to keep in mind: Our brains are actually designed to focus on one thing at a time, and bombarding them with information only slows them down. Think of it as a computer with many files and applications open. Ultimately, it will slow down and get stuck, and so will your brain.
Our brains are not wired to multitask well. When people think they’re multitasking, they’re actually just switching from one task to another very rapidly. Every time they do, there’s an efficiency and focus cost.
This constant task-switching encourages bad brain habits. When we complete a tiny task (sending an email, answering a text message, posting a tweet), we are hit with a dollop of dopamine, our reward hormone. Our brains love that dopamine, and so we’re encouraged to keep switching between small mini-tasks that give us instant gratification.
This creates a dangerous feedback loop that makes us feel like we’re accomplishing a ton when we’re really not doing much at all (or at least nothing requiring much critical thinking). In other words, we are switching between tasks quickly, but in the meantime, compromising our ability to THINK.

Switch off Your Notifications and Take Control of Your Time

Email is problematic, but texting is even worse, demanding even more immediacy than email, having us check it more adamantly as a result.
Protect yourself from the multitasking mental massacre by establishing an e-mail checking schedule. Commit yourself to check emails only three times a day, (maybe when you get into work in the morning, at lunchtime, and before leaving work at the end of the day). Turn off texting notifications and choose specific times to check your phone as well. In other words: disable notifications, put your phone on silence and designate time to check your inbox.

Take Action and Transform Your Life in 15 Minutes a Day!

Setting 15 minutes a day to think about your day, the goals you need to set, the decisions you need to take, and the planning you need to do, is not time that you can claim to not have (there is no way that you cannot afford 15 min a day for thinking) but I assure you that if you do not schedule it in a very clear manner- it will get pushed aside and will simply not happen. Designating time to think is beyond important in our constantly distracted lives. In fifteen minutes a day. The nice things about designating 15 minutes a day to think is that you can go about these 15 minutes in any way that is right for you. You can:

  1. Take a 15 minutes walk
  2. Meditate for 15 minutes
  3. Close the door in your office and sit quietly with yourself for 15 minutes
  4. Take 15 minutes a day to journal
  5. Take 15 min a day to log in your goals and what you are going to do to promote them the next day
  6. Wake up 15 minutes earlier to think and plan your day

Closing Thoughts

Any of these or any other way to pause for 15 minutes works, but it needs to be scheduled to a particular time of the day and you need to keep yourself accountable and consistent. Always remind yourself- these 15 minutes a day are not wasted time where you “could be doing other things”. They are the most important part of the day. These are the 15 minutes of your day that will keep you focused on what matters to you the most, on how you can do things better, and on how you can manage your day with purpose and clarity. There are 15 minutes a day that will absolutely and undoubtedly change your life in powerful and amazing ways.

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Dr. Michelle Rozen

Dr. Michelle Rozen, Ph.D., is a highly respected authority on the psychology of change. She is one of the most booked motivational speakers nationwide as well as internationally, and a frequent guest on media outlets such as NBC, ABC, FOX News, and CNN on topics related to dealing with change in our world and in every aspect of our lives, so that we can do better and feel better.

Her most recent book, 2 Second Decisions helps people power through with their most challenging decisions through turbulent times.

Dr. Michelle Rozen consistently speaks for Fortune 500 companies and her clients include some of the most recognizable companies in the world including Johnson & Johnson, Merrill Lynch, Pfizer, and The U.S. Navy. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in Psychology and resides in the greater NYC area.

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