When you’re standing about making a cup of tea, waiting for the kettle to boil, what do you generally do? If you’re like most people, you’ll probably just stand there, doing absolutely nothing. Consider for a minute, that you could fill that time with stacking up your dishwasher, cleaning a few plates or sweeping the floor, and you’ve instantly been 100% more productive for that period of time and checked off an item that needed to be done in the process.
You can apply this to any situation. Perhaps you’re waiting for a document to upload or just waiting for a phone call. Instead of doing nothing, just fill that time with something productive. Anything productive.
You Don’t Need To Complete the Task
One of the problems is that you might not tend to start a task if you don’t think you can finish it in the time you have available… This is a huge mistake.
There’s no need to finish a task once you’ve started it. You need to get around this stop point in your mind and JUST GET STARTED.
Then, using our example above, once the kettle has boiled, just stop doing whatever you were doing and go back to making your tea.
Later on in the day, when you come back to finishing the task you dedicated a few minutes to earlier, it’ll be a lot easier, just because you dedicated a few minutes extra to it.
You can get a lot Done in 5 Minutes
It’s easy to build things up in your mind. A simple task can easily feel like an all-day nightmare if you think about it for long enough. The thing is, if you just start doing something, then you really can get a lot accomplished in just 5 minutes.
It’s easy to make the mistake of over thinking what you could be doing… You don’t need to do this. Doing ANYTHING in a period of time, where you otherwise wouldn’t is 100% better than not doing anything. So just get started on the first thing that comes to mind or look around you and pick out something that needs sorting… that pile of paperwork perhaps, or a couple of emails from your inbox. If you’ve got a to-do list, pick the first item off the top (maybe something you’ve been neglecting) and just get started on it. You could take this a step further and use these “5 minute periods” to exclusively delve through work that you’ve been putting off or neglecting.
Whatever it is, just get started, and you’ll realise how much you’ve accomplished. Do this several times throughout the day and at the end of the day, you’ll feel how much more productive you’ve been – it’s that sense of satisfaction at the days end where you can relax much easier and enjoy your time fuller.
Making a Habit
If you can make a habit of being productive in these times of inactivity then you’ll enter a new realm of productiveness. Take a look at this interesting article from the guys at Fizzle.co called Just Show Up that talks about setting small habits.