If you find yourself with five minutes and nothing to do, there are a number of activities which will not only make better use of the time but actually make you more productive. Maybe it’s the five minute walk you take from home to the train, or time spent waiting in line at the bank. Maybe you practice the Pomodoro Technique (I’m a fan) that has you work for 25 minute stretches and then take 5 minute breaks. Well here are a bunch of things you can do with that time to enrich your mind, body, and soul.
1. Reduce Stress—Take a spin on the Stress Doctor app from Azumio and practice rythmic breathing that increases your heart rate variability (that’s a good thing). You’ll feel relaxed and refreshed and that feeling will last.
2. Fatty Goodness—Make a Bulletproof Coffee (™). Brew some upgraded coffee and add 2 TBSP of grass fed butter and 1 TBSP of Medium Chain Triglyceride oil. You’ll give yourself a rush of fueling ketones and regain focus. Take that adenosine receptors.
3. Gain Popular Knowledge—Check out the Blinkist app. Professional writers read some of the most popular non fiction novels of today (Antifragile) and past (Getting to Yes) and summarize them in easy to read chunks that take less then 15 minutes but I’ve gotten through several in 5 minutes. Next time the books come up in conversation you’ll be able to make some good points.
4. Catch up on your Reading—Hit the Kindle, either the device or the app on your phone and catch up on the fiction reading you’ve been putting off. And yes you should be reading fiction too, it expands your mind and improves your imagination.
5. Work out some Knots—Got a foam roller at home? Get friendly with it and work on some myofascial release, especially if you’ve been sitting most of the day. If you’ve really only got five minutes I’d focus on the large muscles in your thighs and upper back. If you don’t have room for a foam roller in your desk drawer, a lacrosse ball works even better and gets deeper.
6. Listen to the News—NPR does a 5 minute podcast every hour that summarizes the news of the last hour in a succint and informative way. Never again feel like you don’t know what’s goong on in the world.
7. Focus at Will—Actually that’s it, head over to Focus@Will and their neuroscience based music selections will get you “in the zone” fast. In fact they claim you can increase your attention span by 400%
8. Outsource It—Send a task to your FancyHands virtual assistant to do for you and then forget about it. Or if you’re feeling creative, head over to Fiverr and pick a gig that someone will do for $5 like share your website with 250,000 twitter followers or transcribe 20 minutes of audio. Take something off your list.
9. Workout—A Tabata interval has you perform an exercise like sprints or even push ups for 20 seconds at maximal effort, and then rest for 10 seconds. Do that 8 times for a total of 4 minutes and the effects will be greater than an hour of spin class. You can use that first minute to warm up.
10. Leave a voicemail—Call someone just to say hi but use a service like Slydial to be connected directly to their voicemail. You can let them know you care and not get hooked into a long conversation.
11. Get Smarter—Play a brain game at Brain Turk and improve your memory, attention, and spatial reasoning. Neuroplasticity is a real thing and you can actually increase your overall intelligence.
12. Clean something—Whether you make the bed, do some dishes, or just clear out your desk, it’s a good thing to do and will make you feel better.