There are so many instances in life where we are simply filling in ten minutes of time between the ‘real’ events of our lives. How are we spending those five to ten minutes between events? Most of us are scrolling through Pinterest, Facebook, or Instagram because five to ten minutes is not enough time to actually get something done; I challenge us all to change this notion.
As someone who always feels that twenty-four hours in a day is simply not enough, I find these pockets of time invaluable for task completion. Seeing these ‘spare change’ amounts of time as useful has proven really valuable to me. I know see a spare ten minutes as an opportunity to: edit an assignment before handing it in, load the dishwasher and organize the kitchen, throw in a load of laundry, call a friend who I have not checked-in on in awhile, organize my mail or catch up on emails.
Here are ten easy suggestions to make the best use of those spare ten minutes between work meetings, when your friend is late for a meal, or when you are waiting for your hot rollers to cool:
Keep an app or a playlist on your phone and do some real self-care. It is as easy as keeping a set of headphones in your bag or jacket, which we are all normally doing.
- Create a to do list for the upcoming weekend
Split it up between personal, professional, academic, social and family. Grab a piece of paper, I tend to always carry a notebook with me, or make a list on your phone of things you would actually like to get accomplished this weekend. Carve out the time and what you would need to accomplish said goals, all while you wait for your next meeting.
Always carry a book with you. Always. I find it a treat when someone is late for a meal because I can usually squeeze in a chapter and the time blows by. I am usually (a little) disappointed when I am the one late to lunch because I appreciate that time with a book.
Always carry a journal with you. Always. I’m sure you are guessing that I carry around a very large bag and you are right. Journaling, reflecting and finding time for gratitude can be hard, before you incorporate it into your routine, so when you have those ‘spare’ moments, take advantage of creating a positive habit.
- Send a voice message to a friend you have been thinking about
WhatsApp is great at keeping you connected to people you do not get to see on a regular basis. Send a voice message to someone you have been thinking about and let them know what you have been up to. I prefer it to calling someone because they still get to hear your voice and what you have been doing, but on their own time.
- Update your parents, give them a call
This one we could all do a bit more and no explanation is necessary. For better or for worse, they are your parents; let them know you are alive and thriving.
- Do something that you have been avoiding, like taking out the recycling or throwing in a load of laundry
If you are sitting at home and waiting for your Uber, why not throw in a load of laundry? Why not dust that shelf that is starting to look like an ancient relic, rather than scrolling through your Instagram feed one more time?
- If you’re in your car, declutter and organize your car
Find a garbage bin and toss out all the old receipts and other crap that has been building up.
- Organize your office
Ten minutes between meetings? Clean up your space! When was the last time you cleaned your keyboard? I shudder just thinking about it…
- Challenge yourself to sit with yourself and your thoughts
Don’t pull out your phone, do not go to that safety net. Be comfortable being you. Grab a cup of coffee and just chill….
A lot of these suggestions may seem silly and too easy to be true, but most things are. The hardest hurdles in life are usually pretty simple in their procedure, but that does not mean that the procedure in itself is without its effort. The most useful change can often be the most challenging for us to carry out because it just seems too simple. We question how a simple, straightforward change can have such an upward, positive change in our lives. Why not try a positive change?