Tasks That Can Be Accomplished in Just a Few Minutes


It used to annoy me when I’m ready to go somewhere but my husband is not. “I just have to go to the bathroom and brush my teeth.” Instead of being mad or drumming my fingers or making impatient noises, I now try to use those waiting moments to accomplish something, anything. Often, I do things I’ve been procrastinating. It doesn’t take long to:

  • Move a load of laundry from the washer to the dryer.
  • Take out the garbage.
  • Write a “thinking of you” card. (I have a friend who is medically fragile and has to limit her contact with people. I miss her so much and think about her all the time. A few times a year, I go to the dollar store and buy as many sweet or funny cards as I can find, and send one to her every week or so. I keep them in a plastic bag on my desk along with an index card with her address on it. Every time I realize it’s been a week, I dash one off to her. It only takes a couple of minutes.)
  • Wipe out the microwave.
  • Scrub the sink.
  • Dust one room with a feather duster. (Now you have an excuse to buy a feather duster.)
  • Do some lunges and stretches and yoga breathing.
  • Play some scales on the piano.
  • Sanitize the counter.
  • Brush the toilet.
  • Send up a prayer. (Can’t think of anything to pray about? Just say thank you. A spirit of gratitude improves your day and your relationships.)
  • Drink a full glass of water. It’s good for you, and sometimes we don’t drink enough.
  • Make the bed.
  • Change a light bulb.
  • Sweep the kitchen or laundry room or front porch.
  • Sew on a button.
  • Pet the dog or cat.
  • Tickle a child.
  • Comb your hair.
  • Make sure you’ve got your phone/wallet/keys/sunglasses.

Every time I’m able to accomplish a little chore in what could have been wasted time, I feel positively virtuous. When I’m stuck waiting away from home, I’ll pray or do some small exercises (neck rolls, tightening my abdomen, etc). And I always bring a book if I’m going to a doctor appointment.

Now it’s your turn. How do you deal with waiting? Are there activities you complete in random moments? Share in the comments below.

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