Episode 197: Challenge #14 – 22 Minutes of Focus

Episode 197: Challenge #14 – 22 Minutes of Focus: Time Blocking and Momentum

We create. Everyday we create connection, chaos, possibility, drama, conversation, expectations, money, homes, relationships, works of art, friction, love, stories, or we don’t…

Our power lies in our ability to direct our life story with every choice  and every thought.

Welcome to the Love Your Story podcast and the 21 Life Connection Challenges – 21 life hacks that have been set up to help you connect, take care of  your fabulous self, create possibility in your life, and get out of the dol drums. 

This series of podcasts highlights the challenges one-by-one, gives you background on why the challenge was included in the 21 chosen challenges, a deeper understanding of the concept itself, and ideas on how to implement it. These simple challenges create big ah-ha’s and leave you with some great new tools to play with.

Today we focus on Challenge #14 – this one is about getting off that couch, getting that stone rolling down the mountain, the push that starts the momentum. You’ll love this life-hack.


Challenge 14 is to choose one of the projects in your life that you have been putting off and devote 22 minutes of time to focus on that project. Set a timer and rock n roll.

I have two words for you – 

Time blocking


Back in 2016 I was fresh into the idea of learning how to podcast. When I was setting up the Love Your Story podcast I had to learn how to use the equipment, organize content, find my way through the mountain of to-dos… I would get stuck. Stuck because of the overwhelm.

This past year 2020, when I was creating the 21-Life Connection Challenges and creating the group platform we just launched so more people could connect and learn from the challenges, I hit the same wall. There is so much to do, to plan, to organize. I’d wake up some mornings filled with anxiety and not sure where to start, then I’d end up pushing things I didn’t want to do, mostly because I wasn’t sure how to do them, or there was a fear of failure attached, so I’d push them to the bottom of the list.

When I can see this happening, I know for me that the only way out of it is to time block.

Instead of feeling like if I jump in I’m going to get lost and never get out. Or fearing that I’m going to be in the pain of uncharted territory indefinitely, I break my time into chunks. 

I will work on X for 30 minutes. I will then work on Y for 1 hour. I will then work on Z for 45 minutes. This helps me to wade in, get going, and for some reason that “out” on the other side of my timer gives me solace.

Today’s challenge is to choose something you’ve been putting off – something on that pile of things to do – is it a work deal, a garage that needs cleaning, a bill that needs dealing with, a conversation that needs to happen, an idea that needs your complete attention to work through it? ….Give it a moment and that thing will come to you. 

Now, get things set up, and set your timer for 22 minutes and jump all in.

Let me share some examples from one of our recent challenge groups:

Bernadette said, “I totally blew this one. I decided to spend some time on family history. I set the timer, started my task, and the timer went off in due course. Three and a half hours later… I was still making great progress.😂”

This is a great example of momentum. Sometimes when the ball gets rolling that 22 minutes doesn’t matter any more.

Mel said, “I am a self proclaimed organized person. My house is tidy. Everything in the house has a place or what I call a home, or it doesn’t get to stay long. However, over the past 11 years I’ve held onto baby items from both children and now it’s time to start purging the baby item totes. I used my 22 minutes to reorganize and pass along three totes worth of items. Some will go to a girlfriend expecting a baby girl in February and the other stack will go to a Guatemalan Humanitarian project. It feels good to know that everything I pulled from the totes will for sure be used by other little babies. Loved this timed challenge- helped me start a big project by allowing me a bite sized, pre-determine amount of energy I had to devote. Will be adopting this one again soon. 

Lori said, “I had emptied a box yesterday, mostly paper, had it sorted on my craft table. Last night I washed my mailbox dividers to be ready for this challenge. I put the timer on after taking a before and after pics. I put together the mail slot and put the paper in according to topic. Got about 1/3 of the way through it and went a few minutes over. Not done yet, but progress.”

Haylee said, “I just completed this one. It was great to feel that intentional drive and to stay on my task because time was a ticking.😀My kitchen corner has been an eyesore that was bugging me and really annoying my organized husband. It took me 35 minutes, but I got it done!  (You should have seen the before and after pictures.)

As YOU do this challenge you’re going to discover a couple things: 

  1. It’s so much easier when you know you have an out. 
  2. Sometimes once we get started and get that momentum going we don’t need the out and we can just keep rolling. 
  3. When it’s done and you’ve either exited at 22 minutes or finished the “thing,” you will feel accomplished, proud at having made progress, and it might even be a fun new life hack you decide to use over and over. 

This challenge, like all the challenges, is more than it appears on the surface.

Momentum is a powerful force and learning tricks of the trade to help you ease into the things your resisting can make all the difference. Work smart people!

I’ll bet that this life-hack will become a favorite also. It’s one of mine.

Your challenge for the week is to take this challenge. Order your book off Amazon so you can get into all the life-hack challenges and start recording your experiences in the book, or if you have a group you’d like to do it with, we have the new group platform.


Thanks for being here. See you in two weeks for the newest life-hack tip. Live intentional and fearless people. You’ve got this!

About the author, Lori

Lori is the host and producer of the Love Your Story podcast, a podcast dedicated to sharing candid interviews and conversations about living our best life stories on purpose. Lori pulls no punches in capturing interviews that shine a light on how we make it through the hard stuff – stress, anxiety, suicide, eating disorders, rape, the death of children, abuse, divorce and the real stuff we have to deal with. But, she also shares interviews with Olympians and incredible athletes, life coaches, therapists, and people who are changing the world – most often these two categories are one and the same. She has a master’s degree in Folklore--her research focuses on the personal narrative. She is the author of six books and over 100 magazine and newspaper articles, including her latest, L.I.F.E. – Living Intentional and Fearless Every Day. She consults with individuals on a personal and business level in helping them find their stories, reframe the ones that are holding them back, and manage the stories they currently tell themselves in order to create the story they personally want to live.

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