Your next fifteen minute gap could be wasted away or squeezed for all it is worth. It is important to spot these gaps in your daily routine. Look for them and think about ways to utilize them: for your mind and body. Few spare hours are hard to find, but there are probably several 15 minute gaps which we could use. So, let’s look at how to use these time gaps.
Train Your Brain
Use the time to sharpen your mind. Small efforts could accumulate to huge payoffs later. Learn a new language or master a skill.
- Read. Reading 15 minutes a day can go up to 20 books year. Carry a book with you so you can read in the time gaps.
- Create. Draw pictures, use software to make images, music or something else. Create things, even just for the sake of doing that.
- Listen. Audiobooks is a very handy way to ‘read’ when you have time but cannot actually read. It requires less effort and you can do something else, like walking.
Being able to relax is essential for your productivity and health. If you are hard-working, take the 15 minute gap to relax. Learn how to do that properly and you will discover that even a small pause could be energizing.
- Breathe. Close your eyes and focus on breathing. Each and every meditation technique starts with this. Inhale and exhale at a rhythmic pace.
- Journal. Open up a text document and start writing. It could be a diary, description of challenges you face, or an important note. This could help you get everything organized and reflect upon it later.
- Walk. Going for a walk with no purpose and direction. You need to pick some direction walking of course. Moving around really helps your mind to off-load the stress. The light exercise is good for your body and mood.
Cut Your To-Do List
The time gaps could be used to check off small items from your to-do list. There are many minor things which could be done, and if not done they will mess up with your main tasks at some point. Like tidying up and organizing stuff.
- Two-minutes checks. Look up your to-do list (think about your tasks). Is there anything you could do in less than two minutes? Do as many such tasks as you can and remove them from the to-do list.
- Purge Unimportant Items. Invest some time to simplify your to-do list. Check for things which could be skipped of done more easily. Doing so will leave you more time for the tasks that really matter.
- Clarify Unknowns. Starting up on something is often one of the hardest steps. Procrastinating to start is probably caused by not knowing where to start from. Clarify all details needed for a particular task. Make initial research, contact people, make calls.
Boost Your Body
Including workout in your weekly schedule could be hard. It takes 45 minutes or more and needs even more time to prepare yourself, go to gym, change clothes, take shower… Inserting a bit of physical activity won’t make you super sporty, but can really make up for missed workouts.
- Walk. Go outside and move around. Take stairs instead of elevator. Walk instead of driving for near location. A fast walk for 15 could be pretty good cardio exercise.
- Pump. Simple bodyweight exercises could be done at home or in the park. Actually, fifteen minutes of high intensity exercise is not that easy for everyone and provides great results. Exercises like push-ups, sit-ups, pull ups. Do what you are fit to do and you will gradually improve your results.
- Stretch. Keeping your muscles and tendons flexible is important. Stretching is easier to do than pump exercises in terms of where you are located. You could do that in the office as well. Stretch exercises can also vary in difficulty. Start with something easy.
Keep in Touch
Fifteen minutes is not enough for party or chilling around, but you can call a friend and have a conversation.
- Rolodex Shuffle. Get your address book and pick a person you haven’t talked to for a while. Relations with people need to be maintained.
- Listen. Find someone you haven’t talked to recently. Listen to them, their life, their challenges and victories.
- Meet New People. There are hundreds or thousands of people around you that you don’t know. Walk around and say ‘hi’. You can get a smile, or you can lose 15 minutes.