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How Using 15 Minutes Of Downtime At Work Can Realign Your Work-Life Balance | Fast Company

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She has extra time left over at the end of the day?!

“I don’t use web surfing as a filler at the end of the day, nor do I leave early if I find I’ve finished my main tasks 15 minutes before I usually leave, even though no one would notice or care if I left early. I believe in making full use of the ‘small time’ at the end of the day. One of the things I learned from my years as a contractor, charging time in 15-minute increments, is how much you can get done in 15 minutes.”

The end of my day is usually marked with my passing out with hundreds of unfinished things still piled up.

This strikes me as awfully OCD:

The key is to make a list of 15-minute tasks on the docket, so I’ll always know how to use small bits of time well. If we’re honest, the average work day turns out to have a lot of these 15-minute--or even five-minute--chunks. There’s the space between the end of one phone call and the start of another. There’s the space at the beginning of a meeting that always starts late. There’s time spent waiting for a colleague to finish up a phone call before you go to lunch together.

This time is for catching up on email and messages that come on any of 17 channels.

It may seem extreme, but that's actually how I tend to schedule my life. If have an extra 15 minutes, I know exactly what tasks I want to get done. This philosophy of maximizing my 15-minute chunks helped me get through a very challenging college stint -- earning an EECS degree from Cal while volunteering a large amount of time to leading a service organization. I guess I've kept it up ever since, and I can say that it works for me.

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