A few weeks ago I wrote on BabyCenter about my struggle to make the shift from long, uninterrupted stretches of time to the staccato’d life of motherhood.
Over time, I’ve gotten much better at finding ways to be productive in small windows of time. The fact of the matter is – you can get much more crossed off your list in 5 minutes than you might think.
Here are 55 thought starters for you.
Make a dent on your closet. Start by getting rid of dry cleaner bags and orphan hangers. If you don’t believe me that you can make a dent in 5 minutes, watch this video & pay particular attention at the :55 mark.
Make a menu plan using Buttoned Up’s free printable for the next two or three days.
Write down your top priorities for the day or week ahead and schedule them.
Make your bed. The hospital corners way, like Sarah…or simply by throwing a duvet cover on.
Make a gratitude list. Isn’t this one from blogger Whitney English adorable?
Map your errands on an Errand.pad before running them so that you get this week’s done more efficiently.
Get on the do not mail list via Updater.
Call Vietnam Veterans to schedule a pick up of items you want to donate, from clothes to furniture. OR take all items slated for the donation bin and put them in the trunk of your car.
Micro-volunteer online via Sparked.
Practice 3-3-6 breathing. breathe in through your nose for three seconds, hold for three seconds and exhale for six seconds. Deep breathing has been shown to alleviate stress, energize your body, and regulate emotions – all things that will make you more productive.
Throw your arms around a loved one like you really, really mean it. Studies show that folks who are regularly hugged by their close friends and family have reduced heart rates, lower blood pressure, increased nerve activity and more upbeat moods. Consider it an apple for your limbic system. Plus if you do it first thing in the morning, researchers say it will keep you buoyant throughout the day, which means you’ll get more done. Sounds like a win-win to us!
Make some ghee. Throw four sticks of butter in a saucepan on high heat. Boil until it reaches approximately 240 degrees Fahrenheit (or when it smells like croissants baking). Pour through cheesecloth into a canning jar. Store in a pantry.
Empty the junk from your purse or briefcase. No, you don’t need that mangled granola bar that’s been languishing at the bottom for three weeks. Detangle earphones and put them in a compartment where they are contained and protected.
Have you ever pinched a garden hose? The pressure will build behind the pinch point until the hose stretches – or bursts. Clutter pinch points are areas you need to pay attention to, like the mail pile or your desk, in order to feel organized.
Get rid of expired medications – ideally drop them off for recycling at your local pharmacy. If you have questions, the website SafeguardMyMeds is a terrific resource.
If your computer’s desktop is littered with files and folders, take a few minutes to delete or file documents. That way the next time your turn on your computer you’ll be greeted with a background picture you can actually see rather than a snapshot of chaos.
This makes some people nervous. But honestly, if you haven’t read an email in 14 days – the chances that you will ever get to it are slim. Do yourself a favor and delete. If you’re too nervous, move all unread emails to a “holding pen” folder so that they are at least out of your main inbox stream.
Sign up for an organizational bootcamp, like Buttoned Up’s photo organization bootcamp.
It happens – papers from school, the mail pile, and pretty much everything else seem to migrate to the kitchen counters (or table). Roll up your sleeves and grab all the paper clutter that has accumulated on your kitchen counter. Toss the junk and move the rest of the pile to your desk.
Swap out hand towels in your bathrooms. Aren’t these hand towels I found on Etsy bright & cheery?
Fill out a goal sheet and set a date by which you will have accomplished it.