Have you ever been stuck somewhere for 10 or 15 minutes? A doctor’s office, a passenger in a car, waiting for someone to get ready, waiting in line.
I know I have. Almost everyday.
Time is precious. We’ve all heard it and we know it, but do our actions follow suit? I have 8 ideas that will empower you in that short time rather than wasting it playing a game on your phone, checking up on celebrity gossip, or staring at the clock.
Meditation is an act that has been practiced for 6,000 years in recorded history. It’s health benefits have been studied and proven. It provides emotional balance, increases fertility, lowers blood pressure, and calms the body, to name a few. Meditation involves deep thought and contemplation which gives us a break from our mind’s shallow, rapid thoughts. It’s easy to do, you can do it anywhere and it only takes minutes. I even found this book that teaches beginners how to meditate in 8 minutes. Think of all those benefits packed into less than 10 minutes.
2. Set goals and self-evaluate
When I was a missionary in South Africa and Swaziland I would sit down every morning and set goals for the day. My life was organized and I was confident. That was the time In my life where I wasted the least amount of time.
I was talking to a good friend the other day who is well established and successful at a young age. I asked him what advice he would give regarding good use of time. His reply “set goals for the day or week, then later evaluate yourself against these goals to see what can be improved.” What a simple answer. Be accountable to yourself.
It’s no secret that successful people have a strong foundation in goal setting.
3. Make to-do lists
Making to-do lists is a time management tool that works for some. It helps you organize what to do when time allows. Instead of sitting on the couch wondering what you needed to do that day you will jump to your list and get to work.
Reading is a good use of time and has many benefits according to Kayla, a professional blogger. “Reading has taken me to different worlds In a way, providing escape from the stresses of life. It’s taught me lessons, cultured me, and helped me understand humanity.”
Reading is very accessible on the go with products such as Kindle and other devices.
5. Do something for someone else
If you’re standing in line at an airport and you see someone struggling with luggage or with a child offer some assistance and smile. If you have a few minutes, do the dishes so your wife doesn’t have to do them. Offer to mow someone’s lawn or to watch their kids. Really, do anything that Jesus would do if He were here. Serve.
6. Learn a new skill
Have you always wanted to learn Spanish or learn how to sew? Have you ever wanted to know how to change a tire or gain the courage to talk to anyone? Learning how to eat healthier may take 10 minutes each day for a year, but it may save your life. There are an unlimited number of skills and things to learn.
Knowledge is Power.
7. Give a phone call to someone you haven’t talked to in a while
This is one that I need to work on. I text people now and then but I make excuses why I shouldn’t call. “I’ll be interrupting their busy day” is one of them. Well, I doubt people would feel that way if I keep it to 10 minutes. Another is “I’m not good at talking on the phone.” I like to see facial expressions but if I don’t call I might not talk to them for 6 months or even a year.
There is no good excuse not to keep in close contact with friends and family.
8. Limit wasteful “me” time
Limiting wasteful time is difficult but very manageable. Although “me” time is necessary, don’t over do it. Cutting back time on the TV, internet and smart phones may open up time with family or any of the items listed above. It’s sad to me when I go out with my wife for a nice dinner and I see a couple, both on their phones, heads down. If you spend less time on wasteful activities, that leaves additional time for more important priorities in your life.
Tomorrow when you’ve got a few free minutes don’t waste it. Get the most out of it.