You Have Five Minutes, Part II

fiveminblog-01Do you need a refresh? We’re three weeks into 2014 and I’d like to ask you a question my friend Lara asks me a lot.

How are you doing?

No… how are you really doing?

Well, imagine you have five minutes. Five FREE minutes to yourself right now. What will you do with them? Will you waste them on Facebook? Thumbing through Instagram on your iPhone? Feeling overwhelmed about the MOUNTAIN of half folded half unfolded laundry that’s in the living room on top of your couch? (Oh wait, that’s me…)

No, you have FIVE WHOLE MINUTES right now! TAKE THEM! Run with them! What will you do to refresh yourself? Your mind, your body, your soul – whatever needs it most or all of the above. This morning, after dropping Brady off at “school” (our dear friend has four toddlers over to her house a few days a week for “school” and its the greatest thing ever) I walked back into the house to get ready to work and immediately felt overwhelmed. But, I knew I could spare five minutes so I kicked that overwhelmed feeling in the teeth – gathered all the laundry together so we can tackle folding it tonight, made our bed, brushed my hair back into a neater ponytail and started making a green smoothie (yea, I’m fast). BOOM! Here are some ideas for you and your fancy five minutes. These can work for you if you’re in an office right now or if you’re at home:

  • Tidy up your desk. Put stuff away. Better yet, THROW STUFF AWAY.
  • Take all the trash out in your house.
  • Make a cup of coffee.
  • Drink a big glass of water.
  • Treat yourself to a healthy snack on a real plate.
  • Download your thoughts and to-do list onto a piece of paper.
  • Go for a walk outside, sunshine is a cure-all.
  • Gather all the loose papers on your desk into a pile. Deal with said pile later.
  • Tackle your inbox. You have five minutes, get it down to 0. Flag the important ones and take care of them later. Delete the rest.
  • Go to Unroll.Me. You’ll thank me later.
  • Call a friend. Warn them you only have five minutes. I talked to Lara this morning for longer than five minutes but it was so good for my heart to have “face/phone time” rather than “text time”. Pick up the phone. 
  • Read a few pages of a good book.
  • Open the Bible and read what you turn to.
  • Go brush your hair and put it up. Get it off your face.
  • Take a deep breath. No, really like right now as you’re reading this…. deeeeeeeeeeeeeeep breaaaaaaaaath. (We do this in my house and it works on everyone including Brady). Don’t you feel good now?

BOOM. You just kicked that overwhelmed feeling out the door too. Need more ideas? Check out “You Have Five Minutes” Part I that I wrote a few years ago over on the Making Things Happen Tumblr.




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  1. Darby Isham commented:

    Took a deep breath, grabbing a cup of coffee, and tackling my to-do list. :)

  2. Emily commented:

    Isn’t THE BEST!?

  3. arin commented:

    this is such a great list, especially taking a deep breath — a must during a chaotic day!

  4. jennie commented:

    popping in to say how much i enjoy your posts emily, especially this one. i’ve been trying to take 5 minutes here and there lately, and it’s always worth it.

  5. Michelle Cross commented:

    I LOVE this!! I’m off to go spend 5 minutes in the sunshine. Thanks for the reminder, Emily!!

  6. Kyla F commented:

    I love your ideas Emily! I have been trying to be more intentional about using smaller segments of time throughout the day to accomplish things and take care of myself and it is making a world of a difference! I love your graphic too :)

  7. Elizabeth commented:

    LOVE this!!! I am in my first full week of classes for the spring semester at my university….aka things are starting to get crazy! I definitely needed this reminder and I will remember to take 5 minutes whenever I feel stressed or overwhelmed.

  8. Lindsay Corrigan commented:

    Oh how I needed this today! The thing is I’m reading the whole post tonight. It’s funny because I read only your Instagram post this morning and because of MTH, that was enough. I took 5 minutes right then to clear my head. I needed that reminder. A lot is going on this week. A LOT. The flu hit us last week so I’m playing catch up on 3 major projects that culminate this weekend. Deep breath. Thanks for the reminder :)

  9. Deanie commented:

    Thank you for this reminder Emily! Much needed today.

  10. dawn commented:

    Hello Emily, just found you thru Becky Higgins blog. What a beautiful blog and family you have. So glad she shared about you today, read quite a lot here and love what you do and all your thoughts and attitude on life. Great word you have picked out for 2014, I live this way everyday. I also learned the verse you mentioned on treasures in our heart today in my Bible School class, loved it! Looking forward to following you and wishing you a VERY HAPPY 2014!

    Great idea for these 5mintues. I will go do a load of laundry! Pack lunches and finish writing down my 1,000 gifts list I’ve started this year. Thanks again so much for sharing today!

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  12. stephanie commented:

    I just found your blog through E, Myself and I…such a good reminder! I need to print out your list and keep it handy at all times. Sometimes we all get so overwhelmed that we don’t even know where to begin…and even though they are small, the things you listed are great ideas to help when you feel overwhelmed!

  13. Allison Mannella commented:

    Yes! Great list Emily – keeping it close for those moments where I just don’t know where to start.

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