I’m like a broken record when I say: never underestimate the power of a few minutes. I know that 10 minutes seems incredibly short, but when you really think about it, that’s a lot of time to do anything.
After all, 10 minutes could be the time you have to kill before leaving for work. That could be your window between one class or meeting to the next. It might even be the precious minutes you’re using scrolling endlessly on social media. (Which I don’t recommend, by the way.)
What I’m saying is this: there’s a lot of other – more productive! – things you could be doing with those 10 minute windows every day.
I used to be a serial time-waster, but the moment I realized how much time we actually had in a day, I figured that I might as well make the most of it. And when I did, I was suddenly chock-full of time to do things I actually wanted.
So whether it’s things for home, for work, or for your own side hustle or business, I’ve made this nifty list of 15 amazing, productive, your-future-self-will-thank-you-later things that you can do in just 10 minutes or less. Easy peasy!
Things To Do for Your Home in 10 Minutes
Whether you’re a family person with their own place or a student or young professional still living at home, you’ve got a lot of things to do around the house. You’ve got bills to pay, rooms to keep, and an entire life to get together, am I right? You’d think there aren’t much things you can do with your 10 minutes, wouldn’t you? Think again.
Make a list
The first thing that takes literally no time at all to finish – but also has one of the biggest rewards when you’re done – is making a list. As someone who often gets nerve-wrackingly, nail-bitingly overwhelmed by the sheer amount of things she has to do, a list has been a mon-u-men-tal help. Why? Because they’re great for maintaining your sanity (and for staying productive).
Some lists you can make for your home are a list of things to grab at the grocery or supermarket, a list of people to call (or call back), a list of bills to pay, and even a list of things you need to get done at home. Just a heads up, though. This list-making thing can be pretty addicting! So be sure not to get caught up in just the listing down of things but actually crossing them out.
Pro-tip: these lists don’t always have to revolve around things you have to take care of. You can even make lists about things you’re grateful for, or things you’ve accomplished for the week. Those kinds of lists are equally great to make because they’re super motivating and are a really quick happiness booster.
Account for your bills and expenses
The moment I became a young adult, I started to spend a ton more money than I did as a kid. (Seriously, am I the only shopaholic around here?) And because I had a little more spending power than some of my peers even back in college – thank you, side hustles! – I was also spending on a lot of different things. I was suddenly interested in monthly subscriptions, online courses, and even the occassional shopping splurge.
And I used to think accounting for my expenses and bills would take forever. But that all changed when, one Sunday morning, I decided to get up a little earlier than usual to sort through all the receipts I’d accumulated for the month.
I pulled out all the receipts from my wallet and my transaction history on my banking apps. I even took out a handy calculator and some pen and paper. Then after sitting down to note all my expenses, my income, and even taking a few extra minutes to make a budget, I glanced at the clock and –
Only 10 minutes had passed. Amazing, right? Eventually I decided to make accounting and budgeting into a weekly habit – and the best part is that it really doesn’t take up any time at all. Super amazing.
Fix a messy space
We all have it. That one (and sometimes not just one) messy area in your house that’s just…blah. It could be that messy chair of worn-but-not-dirty-enough-to-dump-in-the-laundry clothes in your room. It could be your closet when you didn’t put back your clothes the right way. Or it might even be your own personal desk (that’s so full of random, messy things that you can’t even see your desk).
Back in the room I had growing up, there was this one perpetual space that I seemed to never have clean. And that space was my personal drawer. Honestly, the thing wasn’t even that big, and I shared my drawer with my sister. So organizing my half? It should have been as easy as Sunday morning.
Eventually when I coughed up the motivation to turn that mess into an organized space, I fell in love with that drawer. I was suddenly using it every day. (Back then you couldn’t find anything in that mess of papers, wallets, knick-knacks from friends, and an assortment of random things I didn’t even know I had.) And, again, cleaning up a messy space in your home takes no time at all.
Call for repairs
Again, we all have it. That faulty bidet. That squeaky door. That broken chair. We often think that it takes so much of our time to just get these things repaired, when in actuality a single phone call will do the trick. Just look up the number of your local repairguy – and with the internet, that really takes no time at all – and give them a call.
I swear you probably won’t even be on the phone for an entire 10 minutes. These service guys know how to do their job pretty well by now, and all you really need to do is tell them what needs fixing. After the call, you’ll at least know if you have to take the faulty thing to a shop or to schedule a home visit where they can repair whatever it is right then and there. Promise, when you’re done, it’ll be like a breath of fresh air!
Do 10 things that only take a minute to do
I know this is supposed to be a list of things you can do in 10 minutes or less, but I can’t resist mentioning this. I first heard this hack on Gretchen Rubin’s podcast Happier (which, in case you didn’t know, I am obsessed with). Fun fact: she talks about this hack I’m about to tell you in Happier‘s very first episode. So here it is.
If it takes just one minute to do something, do it there and then.
Don’t wait until later. Don’t put it off. Remember: it only takes a minute! So do it right now.
You can do a bunch of these one-minute tasks in just one go. Whether it’s putting back something that’s not in its proper place (like shoes in the hallway) or taking a used glass to the sink, there are so many things we put off but can be accomplished in just a minute or less. If you do 10 of these one-minute things, that’s 10 things you don’t have to worry about later!
For example, it takes only a minute to sign up to my free class on how to turn your creative hobby or passion into a profitable side hustle – so cool, right?! (Click on the photo below, and it’ll take you to the signup page!)
Things To Do at Work in 10 Minutes
I get that work can sometimes be a drag – or, at the very least, we have those things we’d rather not be doing. So to make the workday a little better for you, here are five easy but incredibly satisfying things you can do at work in under 10 minutes.
Organize your desk
Related to the “fix a messy space” example from the previous section, you can organize your work desk. And it doesn’t even matter if your desk is messy or not. Sometimes you just have paper clips lying around that shouldn’t be there, or you have yesterday’s paper waste still sitting there… (Remember the one-minute rule above?)
Or you might even want to take the time to change up your desk. Breathe some new life into your workspace, you know? Maybe put that frame on the other side – maybe replace the photo in the frame too. Toss out outdated files, get a new magazine rack. Do whatever it takes to give yourself that quick win!
Organize your deadlines
I work as a freelancer, and you know what that means? A ton of deadlines with no boss to remind me about them. And sometimes the sheer amount of work seems overwhelming – until I sit down, look through what needs to be done, then realize…it’s not.
Take 10 minutes out in your day (maybe even the moment you start working) to assess. What are things due today? This week? This month? How can you adjust your time and energy to work on those deadlines without burning yourself out? Recalibrate. And relax. You’ll feel so much better when you take the thing to organize your deadlines and your workflow!
Deal with an email
Who doesn’t dread emails? Whether it’s dealing with an inbox that looks like it could blow at any moment or sorting through the mess to find that one specific-oh-my-God-where-is-it thread, email can tend to be a drag. But in the spirit of ditching overwhelm, do this for your next 10-minute window: pick one email you need to deal with right now, and just…deal with it.
Really devote your next 10 minutes to reading the email (after you find it, of course) and writing out a response. You won’t need that much to reply anyway. If anything, you’ll probably spend more time deciding on which email to actually get rid of. But again, just pick one! Then deal with it for the next few minutes, and soon it’ll be out of your hair.
Talk to a colleague
Sometimes you’re going to have things at work you can’t finish without first talking to a colleague about. Or you might need to get out of “work mode” for a little while and just chat with someone in the break room. No matter what the reason is, go spend just 10 minutes talking with someone at work. Hey, it could even your boss!
After all, it’d be good for both you and the person you’re speaking with. On one hand, if you need to talk because of some project you might have together, you two would at least get more clarity on where to go from here or how you’re already doing. If it’s someone you don’t have anything to settle with, I’m sure you’d both appreciate the short (but incredibly needed) breather.
Take a walk
Finally, if you’re really, really, really on the verge of pulling your hair out because of all the things you’ve done (and all the things you’ve yet to do), stand up from your desk and just take a walk. Clear your head, get away from screens, and just focus on putting one foot in front of the other. This is a huge quick win for you, and is overall just better for you in the long haul. Cool, right?
Things To Do for Your Side Hustle in 10 Minutes
You already know I’m obsessed with the idea of starting a side hustle. Let’s face it: not everyone is in love with their job, and not everyone gets to do what they love in their job. So the easiest, simplest answer? Start a side hustle! Not only does it give you a fantastic avenue to do what you’re passionate about, you also get to earn a little extra income on the side.
What’s an extra, I don’t know, hundred (or hundreds of) bucks a week, you feel me? So for any current side-hustlers and aspiring side-hustlers out there, take a look at these five things you can do for your side hustle in just 10 minutes or less.
BONUS: If you don’t have a side hustle currently but would love to have one, you might want to consider taking my free 5-day mini-course on how to start a successful side hustle based on your passion. Just click the link here or the photo below, and it’ll redirect you to the sign-up page!
Brainstorm on a new project or process
Losing motivation (or read: customers, sales) for your side hustle? Sometimes you just need a quick refresh. So next time you’ve got a 10-minute pocket of free time, sit down and brainstorm: what new project or process can you add to your side hustle?
Can you introduce a new design for your online printable calendar shop? Can you come up with a rough social media marketing plan for the month? Or are there any clients you can book just from sending a friendly Facebook message?
Set your goals for the day and week
I always say if you don’t know where you’re going, then you’ll never get where you need to go! If you ever want your side hustle to be successful, then you’ll need goals. And goal-setting honestly isn’t that hard! Sit down and just take 10 minutes to ask yourself what you want to accomplish for the week, then get crystal clear on how to go from there.
If you want to get a new client for your freelance writing service by the end of the week, what are daily things you should be getting to be one step closer to your goal? If you want to expand your photography portfolio by 10 photos this week, what should you be doing today to make sure that happens?
Plan your social media or marketing content
Marketing and sales are some things that make a lot of people shudder. I, on the other hand, love marketing and sales. But if you’re not like me who literally gets a jolt of motivation at the thought of these things, then time to set aside a few minutes of your time to deal with this (slightly) intimidating process.
In 10 minutes, ask what kind of content you could be posting this month. Are there holidays you can share some special content? Are there promos and sales you want to put in place? What kind of posts do you want to put up on your Facebook or Instagram to get people aware of your side hustle?
Do a mini-progress check
One of my all-time favorite lines is from a song from one of my all-time favorite bands – All Time Low. In Stay Awake (Dreams Only Last for a Night), there’s a line that goes:
Before you ask which way to go, remember where you’ve been.Stay Awake (Dreams Only Last for a Night), All Time Low
And I think that it’s absolutely brilliant. It’d be nearly impossible to accomplish any goal for anything (and especially in a creative side hustle where we’re our own boss and accountability partner) if we first don’t know where we are right now.
Do frequent progress checks to see how you’re doing. Are you going where you’re supposed to be going? If yes, great! How can you keep it up? If not, what can you be doing different?
Read a value-filled article
Like people say, knowledge is wealth. Sometimes you don’t even need to spend all those 10-minute windows in your day working on something.
Instead, take the time to learn about something that could be useful for your side hustle. Choose a topic you might be struggling with, read a bunch of tips about it online, and learn. This is by far one of my favorite things to do when I’ve got a couple extra minutes on my hands.
I hope these 15 things to do whenever you have a spare 10 minutes inspires you to make the most of your time every day! As an added bonus, I’ve got a free downloadable checklist of 15 more things you can do for your side hustle in 10 minutes or less – perfect for all my fellow hustlers out there!
I truly believe we can make time to do the things that really matter to us, so that’s why I hope you give the checklist a shot! If you can just put in amazing quick wins and systems in place (lots of them found in this checklist alone!), then you’ll be running a successful, profitable side hustle in no time.
Leave me a comment:
What do you struggle with most when managing your time? Is there something you want to do more of but can never make time for? Let me know!
Mica is the face behind everything you see at her blog, Mind of Mica. She champions the goal-getters, the dream-chasers, and the unapologetic hustlers who are out to make a difference – even if it’s in their own lives.