If you where asked to describe what your life was like, you would probably point out the major activities that you take part in like work, family and hobbies, as well as the big and memorable events. The main ‘chunk’ of life, is what makes us who we are, it is our main point of focus and sense of direction.
But our days are also filled with little moments that don’t even seem to be worth the attention. These short, repetitive events, get lost in the flow of time as we move through them automatically.
If you were to ask what those moment where, you probably couldn’t remember them. They do nothing for you, they just happen.
If you pay attention to all of the small, automatic things that you do, you may notice that these event takes a large proportion of your time, and therefore your life.
These little neglected moments, might in fact be what is preventing you form the changes you desire in your life.
When we want big changes to occur, we are tempted to go big, coming up with radical solutions; a completely new behavior, a drastic change of lifestyle.
If big moves can be lifesaving, they can also be unsustainable, most people fail at changing because their attempts are to big to soon.
With the best intentions in the world, we tell ourselves that tomorrow we will stop…. forever, which is a major part of our life or personality, and expect it to happen easily. It can work for certain personality type, but for most it fails, and we revert back.
What we need is to start changing slowly. We need to understand that change takes time. By dying and rising a little everyday, we come to be a new person overtime. In order to maximise this process, you need to maximise the little changes, because little changes soon amount to big changes.
Time management is essential because it is in the ‘free’ time that our worst behaviors manifest. If you can master your free time, you will often be able to master yourself.
Take for example an arbitrary length of time, five minutes. There is a lot you can do in those five minutes:
Here are some ideas of things you could be doing for just 5 minutes:
– Learn something new; A vast majority of skills can be practices in just 5 minutes, from leaning a new language, to learning to draw, play an instrument, learn to code, etc
-Stretch; A few stretches everyday go a long way to your general health and fitness. Do it multiple times daily for added benefit.
-Move & Exercise, You can do a quick cardio or some bodyweight training almost anywhere, one round of Tabata training. Even a 5 mins walk clears the mind
-Get on top of something you need to do, if it id daunting and difficult, start small. Slow is far better that nothing at all. Just do 5 minutes, from cleaning up the house, to get on top of you email, make a budget, study for you exam. You can climb very high using only small steps.
Now try to determine during you day when you are waisting five minutes of your time:
- Maybe you are tired and not doing anything at all for a period of time. (get some proper extra rest instead of half-asse activities like sleeping in front of the TV)
- Maybe you are procrastinating, spending time on things that don’t really matter (Just start small, just do 5 min on a project, the hardest is often getting started)
- Maybe you are bored and do activities slowly, wasting potential time that you would have had if you finished earlier (try to think of the cool things you’ll do when you finished, find a way to make it fun)
- Maybe you lack focus while doing something and are therefore unproductive or you have to do it again. (remember why it matters, try to learn and engage, ask questions, be curious)
- Maybe you could be multitasking and are not doing so out of lack of organisation or drive (do something physical and mental at the same time)
- Maybe you have a compulsory habit or behavior that demands constant attention, such as an addiction to social media, gaming, substances or food (find ways to overcome it, identify how much it is costing you)
Whatever the reason, the point is that everybody can find 5 minutes in their day to do something good, probably a lot more.
We loose five minutes here and there throughout the day, because we lack focus and direction.
Doing something for five minutes a day might feel insignificant now, but it make a whole lot of difference years from now, if you are consistent. It might be the difference between, being able to walk when your 90 or needing a hip replacement, between having learned a new language or early Alzheimer, between financial security or a difficult retirement, and so on and so forth.
There are no small gains
Everything counts, everything matters, one more rep, one more word, one more minute of concentration, one more dollar, one more positive action, they all add up.
It’s up to you to try and find where there is space in your life, and do something small but good for yourself and others instead of wasting time.
The most successful people have a tight schedule because they squeeze every last drop of value out of their time. More time is one of the rare thing that money can’t by.
If you think about it, 5 minutes a day is 35 minutes a week, and 2 hours 20 minutes per month. That’s 28 hours per year! More than one whole day. How would you like to have an extra day every year? That might be what you are wasting right now. One day a year for how many years of your life?
And between you and me, we all probably can find more than 5 minutes a day.
So I challenge you, find a time of the day when you have some space. Practice something, whatever it is for just 5 minutes. Do it for at least one month and see what kind of benefit you get. If you like it, keep it up. Why not develop a small habit, that will benefit you for the rest of your life.
Thank you for reading, what will you do for the next 5 minutes.?