How to kill 15 minutes

How to kill 15 minutes

I work from home most days which means that I sit at my desk, on the phone or email for 8-10 hours a day. With a dog – mainly snoring – for company. What can I say, yes, it is a riveting as it sounds.
On the plus side, I do get to wear schlubby clothing, I’ve not had to buy anything approximating work wear for 3 years and I have been known to catch up on Breaking Bad while eating lunch. But mostly its hour upon hour of email, with the occasional sitting around waiting for the next call.  Which is where I can really exercise my creative side. Behold… my list of things you can accomplish while working at home in 15 minutes (if you’re inbox is empty and you don’t have time to start anything meaningful of course)…

1. Watch an episode of your favorite sit com
Yes, I know that all sit coms are 21-22 minutes long, but that’s the beauty of the FF button. Simply chose your episode (I’m working my way through all 9 seasons of The Office) and sit down. Fast forward through the titles, anything featuring Pam and Jim (c’mon… I don’t need to watch happy families) or any of your least favorite characters (Ben on Parks and Rec, Jennifer Aniston in anything…). Think you’ll miss the intricacies of plot and dialogue? Its a sit com people.. not Pinter.  I made it through all of Parks and Rec in a week.

2. Review your match.com responses
I’ve actually stepped away from this since my last sojourn with weirdness, but no-one should look at bad selfies and dudes with wayyyy too many baseball hats for more than 15 minutes. The 15 minute limit helps ensure that you don’t suddenly find yourself turning into ‘creepy desperate chick’ who sits on the site reading the profile of every Taurus in the hope that this one won’t be a weirdo commitment-phobe with personal hygiene issues. Set that clock and log off at 15. That’s enough depressing shit for one day.

3. Create exciting mealtime combinations. 
Because you only have 15 minutes, and you can’t leave the house (because that’s always the time boss man calls and asks ‘are you at your desk? I just sent you something’) lunchtime is always a bit of a random exercise in making something out of the most freezer burned articles and ‘back of the cupboard’ canned food. Black bean and edamame salad with veggie burger omelet anyone? Black cherry and apple sauce smoothie?  On a good note, anything can be tasty when smothered with Frontera Chipolte Salsa. Largely serves as a reminder to go to the grocery store when you have more than 15 minutes.

4. Bathroom cleaning.
I hate to clean the bathroom – I live alone, I know what goes on in there and frankly, everything gets covered in dog hair instantly anyway. But, common decency requires that I clean the thing a few times a month.
Ok, once a month.
More if I’m dating.
What else are you doing with 15 minutes?

5. Schedule appointments. 
Being a woman requires a lot of upkeep. There’s the hair, the nails… well the hair and nails. Um.. dermatological procedures involving botulism if you’re feeling flush. Occasional waxing.  Therapy. Plus of course all the normal stuff like dental, optician and lady part checkups. Book all your appointments for the next 6 months and damn you feel like you have your shit together.
You also will feel depressed at how much of that is basically taking care of an aging shell that isn’t going to look any better than this… but hey, remember to pick up that Lexapro refill while you’re at it!

6. Pick up a new skill
YouTube is positively overflowing with ‘how to’ videos for skills you didn’t know you needed. From hair braiding and styling tips, creating the perfect smokey eye and stuffing your bra (honestly…check it out), to laying a patio, building a house or even spinning on your head. YouTube has taught me how to pick up my motorcycle when I drop it, how to improve my aim at the shooting range, how to light a corporate video and what to do if a bear attacks (critical in downtown Denver). Next up how to ‘twerk’. You have been warned.

7. Become famous
Easier than ever due to YouTube and Twitter combined with declining standards of what constitutes ‘entertainment’, 15 mins is all you need to create and enjoy instant fame. Based on current ‘famous’ people with no discernable skills, try some or all of the following to get your alloted time in the spotlight;

  • Develop the deepest tan known to human kind
  • Become pregnant (and be under 16)
  • Become pregnant and don’t realize it until you’re giving birth
  • Video yourself crying about a star that has been lambasted in the press. 
  • Grab yourself some Lucite heels, a dress in size 0000 and video yourself doing, saying or acting stupid. Maybe share some soft serve ice cream with a friend.
  • Fall down a manhole, sinkhole, mineshaft or well. Make sure someone knows you did it
  • Get fed up at work and curse loudly at all the people around you. Video tape and make a dramatic exit.
  • Have 8 or 12 or 21 children.. (ok might be hard to do in 15 mins, but if you have them...)
  • Have 10 plastic surgeries in a single day
  • Send friend requests to every single person on Facebook

Then sit back and wait for Leno to call. 15 minutes well spent.

8. Call your mother
Because you always need to do this. And 15 minutes is a perfect allotment of time to hear about what your brother’s wife has been up to, the latest cute thing the grandkids did and how the garden’s doing. Its enough time to say ‘everything’s great’ (which frankly is your only job when calling your mother), listen about how she might have something new wrong with her, and just when she’s about to start asking about your dating life… ‘sorry Mum, got to run, call at the top of the hour’. Perfect.

9. Help a coworker
I know… Right? But how often have you reached out to a coworker and said ‘hey, do you need a hand?’ Ever? Admittedly you only have 15 minutes, but maybe you can find those 15 minutes a few times in a week and suddenly, a coworker is looking less like a 5150 candidate.  Sure you could be fast forwarding through Parks and Rec, or dancing to Bruce Springsteen, downward dogging, handstanding or dreaming up new things to do with chickpeas.. but helping someone – review an email, edit a powerpoint, find a solution or hell, listen to them offload about how stressed they are – consider it a mitzvah or just good karma.And working at home, you need all the connections you can find.

10.  Burpees
And there’s always burpees. F-g burpees.

So there you have it home workers, or those who just have 15 minutes to kill. Sure you could read another 36 things to love about Colorado, or reread some of my scintillating blog posts, but don’t look on that 15 minutes between your calls as wasted time. Its a million opportunities to do something other than looking at your screen.

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