Lifestyle

5 minute quest to make better use of my time

Editor’s Note: This month on W&D, our theme is all about planting the seeds for the lives we want. Growing seeds does not require grand and meticulous planning; Usually, the process starts with a small, simple step forward. In the spirit of small steps, we are sharing this post from January 2020. It’s all about incorporating small but meaningful 5-minute tasks into the open pockets of our day. We hope you find it useful.


The secret to getting more done every day is to take the moments between work for you.

I don’t know how much time I lost until I started to take inventory of what I was actually doing with minutes and hours per day. Sometimes I spend thirty minutes investigating who the new Harry Styles songs are about. Other days, I sort my books by color to avoid opening mail that’s been on my counter for a week (or more).

We have plenty of noble reasons to avoid doing what we know is most urgent. These excuses are the most dangerous because they hide under the mask of productivity.

Once I realized all of this, I had to find a way to overcome my procrastination tendency, and the answer I found was simple. To make better use of my time and get back on track when I want to procrastinate, I need to allow myself space to take advantage of small breaks. This allows me to see myself again where I am and helps my brain recover mentally *before* it starts to drift away.

We all have spaces in our day that could be used more effectively, whether to focus on work tasks, manage our lives, or take care of ourselves. I have a list of things I can do in a short amount of time, so when I go to an early meeting, wait for the water to boil, or wait for an oil change, I can be more intentional with my time. . Sometimes the right choice is to meditate for five minutes. Other times, it is taking care of a business task that needs to be handled.

The key to using these little moments is to get in touch with what’s been procrastinating you in the first place — whether it’s being overwhelmed, feeling disconnected, or distracted by the clutter of space. your.

The key to using these little moments is to get in touch with what’s been procrastinating you in the first place — whether it’s being overwhelmed, feeling disconnected, or distracted by the clutter of space. your.

I’ve created five categories for you to easily identify what you need in the moment, so you can focus on the short list of universal tasks that can be accomplished in a short amount of time. Sometimes all we need to move forward is an incremental reset.

The 5-minute missions will complete when you…

Felt the need to reset.

  • Think
  • Drink water
  • Practice aromatherapy
  • Write a short article
  • Stand up and stretch
  • Take a walk around the house
  • Wash one’s face

Overwhelmed with work.

  • Make a list of everything you have to do
  • Answer phone calls or emails
  • Choose a task that can be delegated to others
  • Delete or archive emails that require no action
  • Start the quest you’ve been on the longest

Want to connect with someone.

  • Text someone you care about to tell them how much they mean to you
  • Plan lunch with the person you missed
  • Invite someone you’ve met and like for coffee
  • Make a list of people you like to spend time with
  • Catch up with people you know on social media

Want to improve your space.

  • Wrap the rope neatly
  • Garbage and recycling
  • Clear out a drawer you use every day
  • Inventory your closet and flag a few things for donation or repair
  • Wipe down the countertops in your kitchen or bathroom

Overwhelmed with life.

  • Make a grocery list
  • Make a meal plan for the next day or week
  • Make an appointment you want to schedule
  • Check your bank account
  • Read through your letter
  • Send a thanks to

Add tasks that work for you to your digital notebook or download the free printable template (shown below) to place on your desk, hang on the fridge, or add to your planner . Create your own list and start enjoying the feeling of putting yourself and your needs first.

To download a free 5-minute task list template (pictured below), click here.

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