Two-Minute Windows


I live my life by a schedule. Routines are very much ingrained in me. I clean my house on a schedule: Monday is bathrooms and trash; Tuesday is vacuuming and dusting; Wednesday is cleaning the kitchen… Routines became my norm after my first baby. Routines helped us both thrive. When I had my second, he fell into our routines so effortlessly. Recently I welcomed my third.

My schedule went out the window.

She wanted to nurse ALL THE TIME. She hates the car. With one in kindergarten that I drop off and pick up and another one in half-day preschool, we spend a lot of time in the car. Instead of adjusting to my “new normal,” I got frustrated. Frustrated that my house looks like a tornado blew through it. Frustrated that I can’t finish a single task and when I do, 10 more pile up. And frustrated that I am wanting time to speed up instead of enjoying this stage.

I turned into a complainer. I’ve had the same complaint for months: I don’t have time to do all of the things.

I have all these little pockets of time and instead of tackling something, I’ve been scrolling. Sometimes as a way to connect with another adult; other times because it is all I feel that I have time for. I’ve been annoying myself with my complaining.

So recently, I challenged myself. I decided that instead of complaining and scrolling, I would give myself 30 days to create new habits. I have small pockets of time (two-minute windows to be exact) and would see how much I could get done in a day in two-minute increments. Turns out, I can accomplish a lot.

In two-minute windows I can:

  • Clean off the kitchen counters.
  • Load the dishwasher.
  • Make all the appointments I’ve been procrastinating. We are now all scheduled for doctors, dentists, and allergy/asthma clinic.
  • Make the beds (all 3 of them).
  • Vacuum one room.
  • Do my makeup (I also might need a new makeup routine. In two minutes, I could do it 5 times.)
  • upload photos.
  • Declutter one room. Why do kids come with so much paperwork?
  • Watch my daughter’s fashion show.
  • Organize one drawer.
  • Sort laundry.
  • Play a few rounds of hide and seek.
  • Do sight word flashcards.
  • Color with my kids.
  • Write a meal plan for the week. And if I write down my meal ideas, I can sometimes even make a click list in that time!

I started my two-minute challenge in August. I set my phone timer for two minutes and set it down. The first week I did, my kids looked at me like I was crazy. Then I realized that half of what I was cleaning belonged to them. So, two-minute windows became a challenge for everyone.

When I set my timer, the kids start a task too! We usually play a fun song for their clean up window, but it’s the same principle. My son loves a timer. It was how we potty trained him and also how he’s learning to ride a bike. He likes to take lots of breaks… but we’ve decided that two minutes is a short time.

We can do anything for two minutes, including riding a bike. It gives me time to focus on just him. It gives him a short window to focus. Bonus: Neither of us get frustrated.