How to get More Work Done with 15 Minutes of Fun
by Susie E. Caron©11/1/15
Do you struggle to get your own work done? Do your young children interrupt you whenever you have a task you need to accomplish? Do you respond in ways that you like, and which satisfies them? Or do you scold, yell or even just make frustrated faces? If you are upset with them, or feel guilty about your reactions, this article will help you. Using 15 minutes of fun will help you to get your work done, satisfy your kids, and make you feel great.
A quick story.
I discovered this neat little skill, while my kids were very little. Whenever I stopped what I was doing and read or played with them for short bursts, they were actually happier to do something by themselves, without me. That help me to ‘sprint’ into my work. I baked, paid bills, mopped floors, painted rooms, and other adult tasks. And, it all happened in between our 15 minutes of fun.
Would you like to know how to do this?
This will take a little preparation, and then some practice. After a few weeks, it will work wonderfully. Here are my tips:
Before you begin.
Tool: Get a kitchen timer.
Prepare your children: They will need to know the hand signal for stop. It’s the one traffic cops use to stop cars for short periods of time. Tell them they can use this ‘stop’ signal, for example when another child is bothering them. (They can use both hands if they really need to.)
Then explain that you will also use it, when you are working on something you need to finish. Tell them, whenever you raise your hand in the ‘stop’ position, they need to freeze, stop talking and wait until the timer rings. Then you will stop and talk, read or play with them.
Here’s how it works:
Your child comes to you and ‘interrupts’ something you are doing (let’s say you are paying bills).
Without looking at your child put your hand out to signal “STOP”. (This teaches your child delay of gratification – a very important skill).
Keep the “STOP” extremely short for very young children, (seconds) and lengthen it as they get older. When the get old enough you can even add directions such as, “I will speak with you in 2 minutes (5 minutes) as soon as I finish paying bills I will come find you. If you’d rather wait, please sit quietly until the timer rings.”
When the timer goes off, immediately stop what you are working on. Turn your body, eyes and full attention on your child. Thank him/her for waiting, then suggest doing something fun like reading or playing together.
Help them to understand this fun time you will spend with them and how it will end.
Say, “I am happy to come to read or play with you right now. When we are finished, and the timer goes off, (after 15 minutes of fun) you will read or play by yourself (or with a sibling etc.) and I will go back to my work. (Notice the underlined words. It is really important that you become an actor and believe what you are saying. Don’t make the mistake of saying so I can go back to work.” Your words will make a difference.)
At the end of the 15 minutes reading to or playing with your child, and the timer rings, hug your child and thank him or her for letting you spend this time together. Say, “Thank you for letting me read to you (or for our play time together). Now I will go finish my work while you _______________(make a suggestion) by yourself. The sooner I get my work done, the sooner we can read or play together again."
This works really well when you set the timer for your own work. It helps your children’ believe that you’ll stop working when the timer rings. They will also learn to leave you alone for longer and longer periods of time. However, this 15 minutes of fun is part of that training and extremely important to use when they are preschool ages.
When you prepare your kids and practice spending 15 minutes of fun, they will be more content to go back to reading or playing, and you can get more work done.
Here some of the additional benefits:
They won’t be little for long so take every opportunity you can to spend time with them.
One way to have fun together is by reading good picture books like these:
Click on titles to buy today:
Twee’, I Am Twee’ and Twee’ for Two .
Reading gives you both a 15 minute break, wonderful cuddle time and helps to build lovely memories for all.
Whether you have kids or not, what do you do to get your work done? Please share in the comments and always I love you to share on social.
Twee' means you and me
Getting our work done, with 15 minutes of fun!
Whether you have kids or not, what do you do to get your work done? Please share in the comments and always I love to be shared with your friends on your favorite social sites.
Susie E. Caron MA,
Author, Blogger, Podcaster,
Christian, Wife, & Mother, helps build parent-child relationships, 1 blog, book & podcast at a time.
Welcome! I recently retired from combined careers in teaching, psychotherapy, and parent coaching to spend more time writing.
When I'm not busy creating books or articles, you might find me looking for dark chocolate or riding my beautiful horse Apple in the woods and fields of Vermont.
These articles are for educational and self-help purposes only and are not intended as psychotherapy.
If you experience unusual symptoms or discomfort please see your medical or mental health practitioner.
No patent liability is assumed for use of the information contained. The author disclaims any responsibility for loss or risk for use or application of this material.
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Blog Reviews & Thank You!
July 13 at 7:17pm ·
Just wanted to say that I love your posts about the different ways to connect/relate/understand your child. It has given me a new approach towards understanding my daughter and allowing HER to tell me how she feels instead of me suggesting to her how she should feel. Thanks Susie!