There are plenty of moments in your life where you are doing nothing. I like to call these ‘in-between’ moments. These are the moments when you are ‘in-between’ other things.
We can waste a lot of time with our in-between moments without even realising.
A little way that you can notice how many in-between moments you have is by tracking the minutes of your day. When I do this, I notice that I take 30 minutes a day just dancing around the room to music, 2 hours scrolling through Twitter, and at least 5 minutes a day waiting for the kettle to boil.
Sometimes we have in-between moments when we are putting off doing something. I could happily reorganise my bookshelves or organise my wardrobe by colour just to avoid responding to emails or tidying.
In our mind, we probably still class this as being productive and in some ways it is. However, there are other things that we should be doing instead and deep down, we know that.
‘The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing’ – Walt Disney
We all have in-between moments in our life that could be used more effectively. It might be that we should be getting work done or maybe we need to look after ourselves more in those moments.
Having a list of things that can be done in a short period of time can be helpful as you can just choose something from the list when you have a spare 5 minutes. Maybe you’re waiting for an appointment, on public transport or waiting for the kettle to boil. No matter what you’re waiting for, you have some spare time so you should fill it wisely.
Sometimes you need to fill those 5 minutes with something work-related and sometimes you just need to meditate for 5 minutes. Only you will know what your body needs and you can choose what to do accordingly.
If you need some ideas of what you can do in those 5-minute in-between moments then here are a few ideas for you. I have categorised these moments into how you could be feeling which should help when it comes to doing the right thing for each moment.
5-minute tasks for when you’re…
wanting to spend time with people:
- Text a friend to arrange a coffee date.
- Plan a night in with your loved ones.
- Call a family member just for a chat.
- Chat to some of your social media friends.
needing a rest:
- Drink a glass of water.
- Write how you are feeling in a diary.
- Stretch each part of your body.
- Wash your face in cold water.
- Take a quick walk around the block.
overwhelmed with work:
- Create a master to-do list.
- Respond to one email if it doesn’t require a huge response.
- Delete emails that don’t require a response.
- Give one of your tasks to another person if they are willing to help.
- Return a call.
- Make a start on one of the jobs that you have been putting off.
wanting to do some tidying and organising:
- Take out the bins.
- Wipe down your kitchen surfaces.
- Pick up 5 items off the floor.
- Organise the recycling.
- Untangle wires.
- Put loose pencils and pens back in the pen pot.
- Clean your workspace.
completely overwhelmed with everything:
- Make a meal plan for the next few days.
- Write in a notebook for 5 solid minutes all about how you are feeling.
- Create a goals list.
- Send a thank you email to someone who helped you or a company you like.
- Read a couple of pages of your favourite book.
- Listen to your favourite song.
- Practising breathing exercises.
The best thing about these 5-minute tasks is that they can be completely personalised to you and your own needs. There are so many other ideas too that could be added to this list and it’s just about discovering what you and your in-between moments need.
If this list helped you then I’m so happy. Feel free to bookmark this page or save it in some kind of way so that you can look back in the future when you need some new 5-minute task ideas.
If you have any more ideas then comment below so we can all help each other!