What Can You Do With 7 Minutes? (and a Giveaway!)

Posted on Posted in Goals

How many extra minutes do you have in your day?  One of the biggest challenges I seem to face is getting past the overwhelming feeling of starting a big project or catching up on a long list of things to do.  In my line of work, this is the time of year when everything seems to hit at once.  Last week an idea hit me and I want to share it with you…

I’ll be honest.  I fell back into some old habits over the last month…with vengeance.  I started staying up late again to get work done, while still waking up at 5am to get going in the morning.  Guess what…that doesn’t work!  There were a few days where I was COMPLETELY useless.  So I’ve gotten back on track with going to bed early with my wife and getting up early before anyone else does.  But I need to squeeze a bit more productivity out of my day.

Last week, I think the solution found me.  Several of the sites I follow were abuzz about the 7-minute workout routine that had been devised by the American College of Sports Medicine.  No fancy equipment, just a quick routine of strengthening exercises for people like me who aren’t doing any.  It’s the perfect addition to using my treadmill desk at work.  I’ve been doing it since last week and have really been enjoying the quick routine.  It’s short, has fixed intervals, and a clear target for completion.  One day while I was doing my sideways plank it hit me that I could use the same idea to get ‘over the hump’ on some big projects I have been procrastinating on.

I’ve added two other seven minute segments to my day to focus some energy and time on things that need to get done.  Typically I do my seven minute workout in the early morning hours to help me wake up.  I’ve added a seven minute segment around lunch time and another for after the girls go to sleep.

At lunch time I focus on posting one item to Craigslist a day.  I have a backlog of about 40 items that I need to get on Craigslist.  Posting typically takes less than seven minutes, but this little trick is helping me get through the backlog of items that feels a bit overwhelming.  Craigslist is an easy way to put a little extra money in the bank.

After the girls go to sleep I pick one special thing to do around the house to help keep things clean.  Instead of collapsing on the couch or hitting the computer for some work/play time, I have started doing some special cleaning projects.  Maybe I hit a bathroom and clean it down really good, or scrub down our shower, mop the floors, etc.  You get the point.  Just pick one thing to do and get it done.  The whole house feels a bit overwhelming right now but bit by bit we can get it back into shape.

I’m just like everyone else.  I go through phases where my productivity levels are amazingly high and my focus is intense.  And then there are times like I am in now where things are a bit foggy and it seems challenging to keep up with what is absolutely essential.  This modified version of the GTD philosophy should help to clear the fog.

What could you do in seven focused minutes during your day?  Maybe you’ll want to try the 7-minute workout routine.  (Here is a cool timer that you can use to count you down.)  Some might want to purpose 7 minutes of their day in prayer or reading the Bible.  Others might want to purpose 7 minutes for meditation.  Maybe you can take 7 minutes to write an encouraging note or email to someone.  There are tons of things you can do with just 7 minutes.

I’d be curious to hear what you will do with your seven minutes in the comments section below.  Did you find this post interesting?  I’d appreciate you taking about 7 seconds to click the share button and pass it along via Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or email.

This week I am running another giveaway that will end next Monday at 11:59pm CST.  I have been reading Jon Acuff’s new book “Start” and it was excellent!  Jon has a fun and inspirational style of writing that makes you want to get out there and get things done.  April was a great month for this blog, so I want to share some of the blessings with you and give away 3 copies of the “Start” book.  This book is so popular that Amazon is currently sold out of them!  Three different winners will be randomly selected and each will receive a copy of the book.  Use the widget below to find out the various entry methods available…
a Rafflecopter giveaway

13 thoughts on “What Can You Do With 7 Minutes? (and a Giveaway!)

  1. Okay Jon, YOU inspire me to get out there and get something done! I enjoy your blogs. They teach me something new, give me a new look on things, and motivate me to “do something”….. but I’m a little over whelmed with the MANY “7 minutes” I should make time for 😉

  2. I’ll have to look into the 7 minute workout. I’ve traditionally just used work as my exercise, but that isn’t working so well these days, so I need to work on burning a few more calories.

  3. I struggle with not wanting to start anything because I only have “7 minutes”! But I’m sure there are some papers or clutter sitting around that could be picked up in that short time.

  4. I’m terrible about removing clutter so I would use the 7 minutes to do just that. I’ll probably be very surprise how much stuff I can remove from tables and such in that short amount of time.

  5. I realize now that 7 minutes is a long time when you think of a lot of little things you can accomplish in that time. I will start by sorting out some old papers which I keep putting off.

    1. Sounds like a good plan Laurie! There are lots of little places in my schedule where I can squeeze in a bit of productivity.

  6. Before I (recently) started working from home, I drove to the office every day. I would sit in my car in the parking garage and meditate for a few minutes before going in — usually between 3 and 10 minutes. Even when I was running a little bit late, I could manage to give myself 3 minutes to just sit and stay in the moment; stopping to smell the flowers, so to speak. It’s amazing how much that helped.

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