12 Most Delightfully Old School Things to Do with Ten Free Minutes

12 Most Delightfully Old School Things to Do with Ten Free Minutes

 

 

The more technology that swirls around us, the more it seems I crave glimpses of a slightly slower time, when people didn’t send a text message first to see if someone was available to Skype.

Here’s a list of some things to do if you find ten minutes on your hands. Oh, and put down your smart phones. These are all throwbacks to, let’s say, a quainter era.

1. Write a thank you note

So, you didn’t just have a birthday? Or don’t “owe” anyone a note of gratitude? How about leaving a card for the mail carrier, or your son’s teacher? Or your mom?

2. Clear a pile on your desk

Oh, the light sense of freedom that banishing some clutter can create! Okay, so you won’t get your whole office straightened. Don’t let that deter you. Even a few minutes of desk-clearing can bring a solid sense of progress and accomplishment.

3. Cuddle someone you love

You might be getting dinner ready, or doing laundry or making the grocery list. These tasks are all important. But they can also usually be pushed aside for a few minutes. Go find your kids, your partner or your furry four-legged companion and give ’em a good squeezing.

4. Make amends

Ten minutes is not going to afford enough time to delve into a soul-searching quest to repair serious interpersonal damage. But, were you short with your sister on the phone yesterday? A little snippy in that email to a friend? Maybe too curt with a colleague this morning? Take a moment and let them know you’re sorry about it.

5. Sew on a button

At one time or another, most of us have had an item of clothing we kept sliding aside in the closet because it was missing a button. When you take a few minutes to fix it, you’ll thank yourself next time you’re running late and really need that exact garment.

6. Breathe

Close your eyes, quiet your mind and drink in some soul-calming oxygen.

7. Allow yourself to daydream

Give yourself permission to let your brain have a micro-mini vacation. It’s okay — and probably even necessary — every once in awhile to just be. No agenda, no problem to nut through and no negative self talk allowed, though!

8. Offer to help someone

Undoubtedly, you have a skill that others really value. A colleague, neighbor or friend might really dread a task that you find relatively easy, or even fun. I’m on a nonprofit board that’s hosting a big fundraiser. The organization’s director was already being pulled in a million directions and still needed to draft a letter for the event program, which was due at the printers — yesterday. A job that was going to heap more stress on her was something I could do in about ten minutes. So I volunteered to do it. She just had to look it over. Ahhhh.

9. Smile

As you’re out doing a quick errand, smile at the store assistant helping you. Or at the other customer in line. Or at the harried mom who looks like she needs a break. A pleasant, genuine smile is a small gift. Why not spend a few minutes passing out some free joy?

10. Reconnect with a friend

Life gets so busy that we sometimes forget to make time for people we really love to see. Pick up the phone and set a date to get together with one of those folks. Who cares if it goes onto the calendar during a week that’s a ways away. Take a few minutes and get it set up.

11. Do something nice for yourself

Eat a healthy snack. Stretch. Book a massage or some other treat. Yep, you deserve it!

12. Be grateful

We all have days that are tough to bear. But we also have so much to be thankful for, if we stop to think about it. Remind yourself of a few of them and reflect about how fortunate you are, as a result.

I love technology, social media and my iPad and iPhone. And I shudder to think of having to give up Twitter, email and Bluetooth in my car.

Despite that, I am happy to occasionally “multi-task” by just humming while folding clothes. Let me know what you think.

Featured image courtesy of Thomas Hawk licensed via Creative Commons.


Becky Gaylord

http://www.gaylordllc.com

Becky worked as a reporter for more than 15 years in Washington, D.C.; Sydney, Australia; and Cleveland, Ohio for major publications including the New York Times, Salon.com, Business Week, the Wall Street Journal, and was Associate Editor of the Plain Dealer's Editorial Page before she launched the consulting practice, Gaylord LLC. The company helps clients improve their external relations and communication and increase their influence and impact. Becky blogs about that (a few other things) at Framing What Works.

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30 comments
jonmspangler
jonmspangler

These are all good ideas. I would add:

-Fold and put away laundry.

-Stretch and exercise your back, neck, eyes, and arms.

-Straighten up  a messy (fill in the blank).

dbvickery
dbvickery

I am lousy at #2, I have to do #6 to stay sane, and I absolutely love #7 for coming up with new ideas or simply following my thoughts along different "future paths".

Still need to get more deliberate about stepping away from the electronics to have time to do "all of the above". I find a good workout followed by a trip to the steam shower gets me in the right frame of mind.

12Most
12Most

+12 RT @BeckyGaylord: @susanborst @DrSampyRoy Thanks much for spreading the @12Most "Savvy Smartitude" http://t.co/5Bm6xvca

Deone_Higgs
Deone_Higgs

Wonderful tips and advice here, Becky! Thoughtful, fun, loving, and simply to the point. Amazing the things we can do with 10 free minutes. Here's one, - which I'll be doing here shortly - go for a walk. :) Thanks for sharing "#9" with me today. 

jebbing9
jebbing9

@BeckyGaylord You're welcome Becky. Hope you're having a great week.

DixieLil
DixieLil

@BeckyGaylord Inspiring tips and things we sometimes forget to do, like being grateful for all we gave.  I'd like to add "go outside and play"! 

Beverly_Chung
Beverly_Chung

@BeckyGaylord @12Most These are all fantastic ideas! It's a nice reminder of the pre-tech days.#TechBreak

DrSampyRoy
DrSampyRoy

@susanborst @beckygaylord Love to both :-)

DinaJ
DinaJ

12 Most Delightfully Old School Things to Do with Ten Free Minutes http://t.co/OTelcLkH via @beckygaylord @DrSampyRoy

GeraldineJones
GeraldineJones

No. 2 (clear a pile on your desk) is calling to me as I know I have way too many old docs cluttering up the study... plus another pile of mags, catalogues etc downstairs that needs 'processing'. Oh well, maybe tomorrow?!

susansilver
susansilver

Great list. I was coming up with a similar under the banner of everyday strength. The point was to come up with exercises we can do in 10 minutes or less to center and ground yourself during the day. As a way to buffer stress from daily hassles. These tips are all a great way to start!

JackDurish
JackDurish

A better list than I could craft. Thank you. I'll get started right away.

mphcoach
mphcoach

Yes, I like these - great!

AmyMccTobin
AmyMccTobin

#1 has such a powerful impact because NOBODY hand writes anymore. Great list.

MZazeela
MZazeela

Becky,

 This touches my own heart. What you are calling "old school", I liken to meat loaf, roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, etc.  Comfort foods.  Can we call these comfort actions?

 Taking some time to engage in human activities and interactions is what makes us different from the rest of the animals. I feel that constant use of technology is like checking out of humanity.

I was trying to decide which of the 12 I liked most and I decided that I could not decide. I love them all!

 Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Cheers,Marc

rosemaryoneill
rosemaryoneill

Love the "sew on a button" idea...I've got a pile of little items that need a couple of minutes of repair.  Great post!

BeckyGaylord
BeckyGaylord

@dbvickery You never cease to amaze me, DBV, so I was betting you were going to tell me you are a master button-sewer!

BeckyGaylord
BeckyGaylord

@susansilver Thanks, Susan. I love your idea of fitting steps like this in as a daily centering, strengthening activity. Like exercise, sometimes things we need to do for ourselves have to be scheduled or we never do find the time...

GeraldineJones
GeraldineJones

@AmyMccTobin Birthday cards & shopping lists - plus the occasional sick note for school - are about the only things I write by hand these days... & it certainly shows in my handwriting!

BeckyGaylord
BeckyGaylord

@AmyMccTobin Thanks, Amy. I don't do these things as often as I think about doing them. But I do keep a blank card in my handbag (ironically, tucked flat and protected behind my high-tech iPad!) in case I find just a few minutes, so I can send a note. That way, I have no excuse. Appreciate your comments!

BeckyGaylord
BeckyGaylord

@MZazeela Wow, Marc, what a lovely comment. Thanks so much. And I'm so glad to hear you liked the post and the ideas. Cheers.

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