Our time is divided up a lot more today than it was a generation ago. Increased efficiencies lead to packing more activities into a day. More activities lead to more transitions. More transitions lead to more pockets of just a few minutes, waiting until it’s time for the next event.
Although I generally don’t encourage trying to cram more and more into our days, I do think we can use these few minutes as opportunities to chip away at onerous tasks or build new habits.
The next time you find yourself with just a few minutes, instead of dismissing it as not enough time to do anything, try challenging yourself to see how much you can get accomplished. Just be careful to set an alarm so you don’t go into hyper focus and miss your next appointment!
Here are some ways those few minutes may add up to powerful results:
Divide and Conquer Tedious Projects
When we know we don’t have to sustain it for very long, we can move into a super-powered work mode. Five minutes a day, for 6 days in a row, can yield better results than 30 minutes, once a week. This can be great for tasks like filing, data entry and housecleaning.
Break through Overwhelm
We can break through overwhelm when we give ourselves permission to stop working after just a few minutes. Indeed, we often find we don’t want to stop. If we absolutely have to stop, we may actually feel eager to get back to the work as soon as possible!
De-clutter and Tidy Up
Clutter and chaos sneaks its way into our lives quite insidiously. A few minutes each day, tidying up and weeding out things that are no longer relevant, can keep us on top of it.
Although I saved it for last, this is probably the activity I encourage the most. Let’s be more aware of the activities that truly rejuvenate us, and then use those few minutes for quality restoration time. Playing Candy Crush or Words with Friends might be fun, but does it really refresh you as much as going for a walk, listening to a favorite song, sharing a joke, meditating, or watching a cute kitten video (scientifically proven to reduce stress)? Create your own menu of truly restorative pursuits.
I encourage us all to honor the power of a few minutes, and not be dismissive of that precious time. I’d love to hear your experiences with the power of a few minutes.