What would you do with an extra two hours a day? If you’re anything like me, you probably have a list a mile long of things you wish you had the time to do. Yet, when you suddenly find yourself with an extra minute or two, the first thing you do is jump on Facebook!
While finding a two-hour window in your day is likely impossible, you probably do have that amount of free time over the course of the day. It probably comes in short little bursts of five to 10 minutes. Maybe you’re early to your next meeting. Perhaps you get to your doctor’s appointment and have to wait. Maybe you even get stuck waiting for a train for 10 minutes. Instead of wasting your free time on social media, you can actually use those little breaks in your day to do something productive.
Don’t believe me? Here’s a list of things you can do in 10 minutes or less (that are much more productive than scrolling through Twitter).
1. Catch up with a family member or a friend through a quick phone call or email.
We all know we should stay in better touch with our parents. How about that friend from high school that you always mean to get back in contact with? A phone call doesn’t have to last an hour to get in some good conversation. An email is even quicker.
2. Go for a 10-minute power walk or do a few stretches.
A few minutes of exercise goes a long way. Get your blood pumping and give your back a break from that office chair. Your body will thank you.
3. Read the news or a chapter in a book.
Carry a book with you or download one to your phone to read the next time you have a few spare minutes. Find out what’s going on in the world by reading the top stories on The New York Times or The Washington Post. And apps like Pocket let you save articles from all over the web to a reading list for when you have a few extra moments to read them.
4. Clean out your email inbox.
Has a bunch of junk mail cluttered your inbox? Get rid of that distracting email by unsubscribing from newsletters, archiving, and deleting. It only takes a few minutes!
5. Clean something.
Tidy up your desk or wash a few dishes in the kitchen. Make your bed. A little bit goes a long way to keeping your house or office organized.
6. Make a shopping list.
In five to 10 minutes you can easily draft your entire shopping list, which will save you loads of time (and money) on your next trip to the grocery store.
7. Write out a to-do list.
Want to be extra productive? The next time you have a few minutes to spare, write out a to-do list full of all of the tasks you’d like to complete that day, week, or month. Keep it handy so that the next time you find yourself with 10 extra minutes, you’ll know exactly what you can work on.
Over the course of your day, all of those mini-breaks can really add up. You probably have a couple extra hours in your day and didn’t even realize it! There are a lot of things you can accomplish in 10 minutes. Knock a few tasks off your list throughout the day, and maybe you will have some extra time tonight to catch up on that television show you’ve been missing!
Originally published on February 23, 2017.