Sunday, January 2, 2011

Using Time Wisely

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a great Christmas break filled with fun, laughter, family & friends, and healthy choices! I spent New Years weekend with some friends from college, and had a wonderful time. It's hard to be back to real life, bills, dishes, and work.

Today while I was waiting in line to check out at the grocery store, I picked up the latest issue of Real Simple Magazine. They had an article discussing the idea "If you have just five minutes, do...". Interesting. One thing I see in my life and in the lives of those around me is black and white thinking when it comes to using our "down time." We have all sorts of little five and ten minute sections of time throughout the day, and we tend to use it on facebook, playing a game on the computer, or turning on the TV. Then, at the end of the day, we have a pile of chores and responsibilities on our To-Do list. So, what if we could change our thinking about those little 5 minute chunks of time? What if we began to use those little chunks so that we could be more efficient, or have a chunk of time at the end of the night to truly relax? Wouldn't we be less stressed, happier, and more relaxed people?

So here are some of my suggestions of how to use little 5 and 10 minute chunks of time:

1. Do the dishes
2. Clean the sink
3. Dust a room in the house
4. Respond to a few important emails
5. Do deep breathing to increase relaxation
6. Write a quick note of encouragement or appreciation to a friend
7. Re organize a drawer or shelf in your house
8. Throw out any trash that has collected in your car
9. Look up a recipe for dinner
10. Write out a few bills for the month
11. Fold a load of laundry
12. Order some prints of your digital photos
13. Do jumping jacks, planks, crunches, or another short burst of activity
14. Fill up the car with gas and wash the windows
15. Clean out a shelf of your refrigerator
16. Clean your toilet bowls or tub/shower
17. Reorganize your document or picture folders on your computer
18. Return a phone call
19. Make the bed
20. Put DVDs or CDs back in their correct cases

So there's 20 things I do in my little chunks of down time. Remember, you don't have to clean the bathroom or kitchen all at once. It's OK to split up chores like that over the course of an evening or a day. Or even two days:) Don't lock yourself into rules that create time wasters instead of using time well. And your reward: extra sleep or down time at the end of the evening!

Any other thoughts or suggestions? Feel free to leave a comment or tweet me!

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