I’m excited to share a tip I’ve been using for a while.
It’s been working so well for me, it’s changing my whole house, and thereby, my whole life. Because when your house feels more presentable, everything in your life feels more relaxed and in control.
In this article, we’re going to talk about how to get things done just five minutes at a time.
Do you love it already?
Below is the podcast version of this article. The podcast explains things so much better than a blog post. I invite you to listen and also hear some examples and enjoy some laughs! You can subscribe to the Podcast by opening your favorite podcast app and typing “Balanced Working Moms” into the search or click here for a link to the podcast on iTunes.
Getting More Done
Today’s topic is a good one!! I’ve piqued your curiosity, haven’t I?
5 minutes? What can you really get done in 5 minutes?
You’d be surprised!
Let me tell you how this idea came about.
5-Minute Tasks in Action
A few months ago I took an amazing course on how to use google apps. Yes, I’m a total geek. This is what I do in my spare time. 🙂 I highly recommend the class! Here’s the affiliate link or click on the graphic below.
When I took this course, I was inspired to clean my online life.
Thousands of archived emails. My google drive. Photos. Files from my phone. All the stuff.
But…..here’s the problem. How can I do this?
The thought of adding one more cleaning job to my life makes me want to faint from exhaustion.
So with this class, I got an idea.
I was going to set a new habit for myself to do a digital clean every day for 5 minutes.
That’s it. Just five minutes. I started that very day.
I’m guessing you already know what happened.
6 months later, my digital space is looking spiffy.
It’s not perfect. And many days I don’t get around to it.
But here’s what this has taught me.
5 minutes makes a HUGE difference!!
Sure, it’s like exercise. 5 minutes one day every blue moon isn’t going to do much long-term good.
But 5 minutes every day for a year?
You could have more strength, more movement. Sure, more would be better. And you know the secret? Once you start going, you usually do more than 5 minutes…..
So here’s the funny thing in life. I found that I was dutifully doing my 5-minute digital clean-up most days. I didn’t have any fast and hard rules. I would close tabs, delete files I didn’t need, that kind of thing. Nothing earth-shattering.
And then as luck would have it, I came across a video where someone did this for cleaning her house.
The video is by the Secret Slob, AKA Steph. Here’s the video.
And as soon as I saw the video I thought — this is message is meant for me. The 5-minute digital cleaning was working out so well, what about the rest of my home?
Using 5 minutes in Other Areas of My Life
Let me tell you about this video.
The concept is so simple, again, this is why it works so well. Steph explains that when her house is a mess, she sets her timer for 5 minutes and cleans one room. When the timer goes off, she cleans another room. She does this for 5 rooms, a total of 25 minutes. If she finished one room early, she’ll go back to another room and finish the time (usually the kitchen).
Wow did this appeal to me.
And then, I tried it.
However, like with every resource, including this blog, I like to take the suggestion and make it mine. I invite you to the same. Do what works for you.
First, unlike Steph, I don’t wait to do it when my house is a disaster. Instead, I decided to do this as a daily habit.
Every day, I aim to clean a few rooms of my house for 5 minutes. It doesn’t have to be all at once, either.
I prefer to do some cleaning in the morning, perhaps clean the kitchen while I eat breakfast. Then when I have energy later in the day, I’ll do some cleaning in the evening. This worked better for me.
And it’s made a HUGE difference! Over the long run, my house is looking cleaner on a regular basis.
It’s a Game Changer
It became such a fun game! I could choose any room in the house.
And of course, most times my 5 minutes ended up lasting longer as I got into it. But if it didn’t, that was fine, too.
And now that I’ve been doing this for about six months, I can tell you that my house’s natural set-point is a bit cleaner. It’s not spotless (I wish) but on a daily basis it’s much cleaner than it had been before this system.
The Power of 5
I talk about micro-actions and small habits a lot on this blog.
There’s a reason for it.
If we didn’t have such busy lives, it would be much more efficient to clean the whole house once a week for a few hours.
But we do have busy lives. And most of us are tired and overwhelmed.
Some of us don’t have the energy to spend a few hours cleaning. Others don’t have those few hours available.
But 5 minutes?
Now that feels doable.
Make it Fun
If you’d like to start doing things in 5-minute increments, whether it’s cleaning a room, reading a book, exercising, I wanted to share a tip on how to make it more fun.
I spent all of $9 and I got a cute, old-fashioned glass sand timer on amazon.
It makes the 5 minutes feel awesome when you use a fun timer!
Get a timer that’s fun for you. They sell them in all shapes and sizes. The time timer is another really cute one.
You could also use your phone. I have the cutest app called Parrot timer, but for obvious reasons, I find my timed sessions work much better when it’s not on the phone. I don’t get distracted.
Make it Satisfying
I also check off in my habit tracker when I do my 5-minute habits. It feels so satisfying when I do something for 5 minutes and then I can check off I’ve done it!!
Here’s a screenshot of a portion of my tracker (I created it on google sheets).
Give Yourself a Reward
You could even give yourself a reward for doing your 5-minute task for a set number of days.
For example, if you spend 5 minutes a day going through your paperwork, after 10 days you can buy a cute folder to put the papers in.
I love gamifying our to-do’s. Why not have more fun with things we already need to do?
Apply to Your Own Life
Let’s apply this to your own life.
What area can you start doing five minutes? We all need something different in our lives. For me it was cleaning. But maybe you want to:
- Start a new exercise regimen
- Call your Mom every day
- Put on make-up
- Do a hobby
- Learn a new language in duolingo
There are so many things you can do to change your life just 5 minutes at a time.
I’m excited for you to start with this.
Let us know how it goes in the Facebook community. We’ll be sure to talk about what our five-minute habits will be.
It’ll be such fun to see what everyone’s working on.
Enjoy this new hack!!