Time is precious there's no denying that, but every now and then you might find yourself with 5 minutes to spare.
You may be waiting for a phone call or have a few minutes to yourself before you need to head out; but rather than sit around twiddling your thumbs there's always something you can do in 5 minutes that will either improve your life in some small way or save you time in the long term…
1. Get the antibacterial spray out
It's time to clean those areas you don't even think of cleaning – light switches and door handles which harbour millions of germs and are the most common method of picking up colds and illnesses. All you need is some kitchen towels – spray on to the towel first then wipe over the light switch and door handle. You should be able to manage to do upstairs and downstairs in 5 minutes – depending on how large your abode is of course. This is a great defence for keeping things like colds at bay which are often transferred via door handles and switches.
2. A stitch in time
You know that button that needs sewing back on and that holey jumper that needs a few stitches? Now is your time to attend to them. It's a boring job, but the longer you leave it, the worse it will get. And remember – it only takes 5 minutes.
3. Brush your teeth
Your teeth will thank you for brushing them – and, as dentists recommend a three-minute brush, you'll have a couple of minutes to spare for flossing. Looking after your pearly whites has been linked to a variety of health benefits.
4. Set up your TV viewing schedule
If you're anything like me, you'll regularly miss that programme you wanted to watch because life just somehow got in the way. Take five minutes to go through the week's programme schedule so you can set up recordings in advance and never miss what you really want to watch. Never again will you be saying ‘there's nothing on telly…!'
5. Polish your shoes
Don't get caught out on your way out of the door. Systematically check out your shoes – they may not even need a polish – maybe a going over with a wet wipe will be enough, but you'll thank yourself when you're next in a rush out of the door and you're looking slick.
6. Send an email
Five minutes gives you enough time to deal with the top few emails in your inbox – have a read and send a response (or delete). Alternatively, why not use the time to send an email to an old friend who you haven't caught up with for a while – and suggest making plans for a catch up.
7. Do your filing
Utilise your time wisely by filing away any bills, receipts, guarantees and sifting through your post. It's another tedious task but if you're on a countdown it's bound to make you more efficient at clearing through the mail.
8. Plan a meal
There may be days when you fancy being a bit more adventurous with your food choice, so rather than wade through recipes when you don't have much time, why not come up with a great main course when you do. Save all the ingredients in your notes on your phone (and the amounts needed), so when you're next at the supermarket you can pick them up.
9. Make a shopping list
Talking of shopping, do you ever decide to pick up a few food supplies when you're out and about?…and then have the problem of trying to think what you actually need or are running low on? Taking the time now to do a stock check will make your life easier next time you're on an impromptu supermarket visit.
Even if you're not a particularly spiritual person, just taking 5 minutes to sit still and close your eyes will work wonders in clearing your mind. It's not often we get time to ‘just be', so find somewhere you are unlikely to be disturbed and set a timer before you rest quietly and try to rid your mind about what you've got to do for the day. Concentrate on your breathing and, working from your feet upwards, be aware of making your muscles relax. Once five minutes is up, you'll be feeling more restful and ready to face the day head on.