Too much to do, too little time, or so we think (and therefore say).
While most lament about finding time for important projects and bigger tasks, when they look at the calendar, large blocks of time aren’t there. While there are many things you can do to make larger blocks of time, my point today is about the small little chunks of time.
We all have five minutes show up in our day. We have five minutes between meetings or phone calls. We all have five minutes standing in a line, or waiting for our lunch. sometimes we know we will have that five minutes. Sometimes it just shows up.
Most of us don’t choose to intentionally use those five minutes. We check our email, idly surf the web or our phones. We tweet or do a Facebook update. Or we sit and wait. So those five minutes passed and we are no closer to our goals than we were before – and those five minutes are just as gone. And at the end of the day we will wonder, where the day went.
Our days are made up of all of those five minute choices.
Choose to use those five minutes.
Everyone one of us is different, with different goals, values and priorities. Given that there is no way I can presume to give you a definitive list of ways to use your five minutes.
However, as a leader I know there are many important things we don’t do often enough. So let me give you a starter list of suggestions, and a challenge.
- Do some coaching. Give some positive feedback – a call, an email, or face to face.
- Refocus your efforts. Review your goals (which means they must be written and with you)
- Learn something. Read an uplifting or educational book or blog post (you have access to them on your phones, Kindles, etc.)
- Make progress on a goal. Make a phone call or send an email to further a project (not just a reply to what is in the inbox, but something that will proactively move you towards a goal)
- Capitialize on your experiences. Reflect on your day so far – ask yourself what you have learned and what you need to adjust.
What would you put on your list?
Everything on this short list is about important things, not urgent things. When we are rushing, we need to make sure we are doing the important stuff – and even if it is in these five minute bursts. Even on our busiest days we can make that progress when we choose to.
The other thing about my suggestions is that they probably weren’t the things you would immediately think about, or aren’t the things that most other people would do or suggest. That’s ok. Do you just want the results of most other people?
Here then is my challenge. Decide now how you are going to invest your five minutes segments today. Be intentional. Choose.
And please, share your thoughts and ideas here, so we can all benefit from your wisdom and choices.