What could you do in 10 minutes?

18 06 2010

Yesterday I read this thought-provoking – and challenging – article on what we can do in ten minutes, from the famous “Time Management Ninja” productivity website.




Too many people say that they do not have enough time in their day to get their stuff done.  Yet, they let their time slip by bit-by-bit.  Minute-by-minute. Five minutes here.  Twenty minutes there.  Ten minutes before a meeting.

For many people, it is this “in-between” time that becomes a major source of lost productivity.

Let’s not underestimate what we can get done in just 10 minutes.  These little bursts of productivity can drive your whole day. So, here are 10 things you can do with those 10 minutes:

  1. Respond to 10 emails – Keep it short, and remember that not all email messages deserve a response. 10?  Yes, and be ruthless with that inbox.
  2. Respond to 3 phone calls – Return that call.  Reach out to that colleague that you need to meet up with.  And schedule that doctor’s appointment that you have been putting off for 6 months.
  3. Pay some bills online – In just a few minutes, you can pay your bills with online billpay.  You’re not still dealing with paper bills, are you?
  4. Catch up with a co-worker – 10 minutes early to that meeting?  This can be one of the best times to have a meaningful conversation with another colleague.  Re-connect with someone.  At a recent meeting I had the chance to reconnect with one of our executives.  Someone who I might not normally have a chance to chat with on a personal level.
  5. Read 10 pages in a book – Whether it is in the doctor’s office or the car dealership, use that time to read a few pages.  Some people carry a book with them for these moments. 
  6. Write – You will be surprised how much you can write in 10 minutes.  Write a memo.  Start a blog post. Whatever you need to get done.
  7. Prepare – Get ready for a future appointment.  Look at tomorrow’s calendar.  Is there any prep work you need to do?  It could be as simple as getting some documents together or researching a topic.
  8. Reflect – Spend the few moments, reflecting on your day.  What you have accomplished?  What has made you happy today?  What you still need to address?
  9. Reach Out & Touch Someone – In these days of email, Twitter, text msgs, and more… it has become increasingly rare to actually communicate in person.  When I find I have a 10 minute block of time to spare, I will walk down the hall and speak to someone face-to-face that I normally would not see.
  10. Do Nothing – Of course, you could just waste the 10 minutes surfing the net or checking the news.  Unfortunately, too many people choose this last option.

What do you do with your 10 minutes?  Or do you let them slip by?




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