What can you get done in ten minutes?

There is a temptation in today’s world to claim “I’m just too busy” to avoid doing those things we know we need to do.  We like to think that today’s demands on our time are significantly more than those of 10, 20, or 30 years ago.  After all, at work, we aim to achieve “top ten” performance – thus, we have to do more with less every day.  At home, there are more demands on our time because of sports clubs, community events, and other mandatory functions.  However, have you thought lately how many more “tools” we have today that in previous generations?  For example, we now have iPhones or similar devices that help us remain in touch 24/7 with anyone in the world.  We can view our work or home e-mail anytime, anywhere.  We can use our devices to turn off our lights, ensure security, look up anything, and, generally, to do much more than 20 years ago.

Did you know that in every week, there are 1132 blocks of 10-minutes?  Can you comprehend that?  Over 1000 blocks of 10-minutes in every week!  In any given workday, there are 50-60 blocks of 10-minutes.  Are we so busy that we could not set aside one or more of these blocks to do something that needs to get done or to make a difference to someone else?  Could we make it a habit to even give one of these away each day or each week?  So, what do I mean by “give one of these away”?  How about these suggestions:

What could I do with 10 minutes?

At work, I could:

  • Check the status of my goals for the year and plan on need adjustments
  • Send a thank you note to a coworker, mentor, supervisor, confidante, support person, or teammate
  • Clean up that pile of unneeded paperwork on my desk and throw it away
  • Restock the coffee maker area or break room rather than rely upon someone else
  • Delete obsolete or unneeded e-mails
  • Create a log book of examples of contributions that I can use for my year-end performance appraisal
  • Walk to the work space of a team member to get to know them better to nurture a relationship
  • Attend a team meeting event another to learn more best practices
  • Clean off overdue items from a bulletin board
  • Pick up lunch for someone else to save them a trip to the cafeteria
  • Bring coffee or a treat to a teammate experiencing a difficult or challenging time
  • Do something to encourage or motivate someone else
  • Forward a pertinent article or news item to someone that might benefit from it

At home:

  • Unload the dishwasher for your spouse (unless, of course, you are the one that normally does it)
  • Hide a note to your spouse where they’ll find it
  • Clean out and/or throw away just one box or pile of junk in your basement or garage (repeat next week)
  • Take out the trash, wash the dog, or wash the car
  • Wrestle with your kids on the floor (any age works — even teenagers will enjoy this “remember when…” time)
  • Start a tax organizer
  • Plant a flower or favorite plant
  • Give your spouse a back or neck rub
  • Put the kids to bed
  • Call a friend, brother or sister, mother or father, or former coworker
  • Read a book to your kids

The point is… Think about those 1000+ 10-minute blocks of time you’ve been given each week.  Today’s challenge is to INTENTIONALLY identify just one of these you can give away as a gift to yourself, to a coworker, or to a family member.  What will be your 10-minute gift to someone else today?  I guarantee that you’ll be glad you gave one of these away!

Have a great day and consider how you can make a difference for someone else today.

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