Most of us have way more time right now than we're used to having.
There's also, suddenly, quite a bit of pressure to do things we never quite get around to -- learning a new language, playing an instrument, reading great books, getting your digital photos in order, etc. Nothing for me on that score.
All of those are noble and actionable, but what it really comes down to is tiny chunks of time that don't feel like much in the moment, but that add up over time.
Think of the five-minute chunk as the ultimate personal building block. You might:
- Run three or four 30-second sprints (high-intensity interval training is one of best, and least-time-consuming, things we can do for our health, provided you're healthy enough to do so; always check with your doctor first)
- Write for five intense, unedited minutes about something you care about.
- Do several sets of pull-ups (we have a pull-up bar installed at Breakaway HQ, highly recommended!) and push ups. Do as many as you can, as slowly and mindfully as you can.
- Do absolutely nothing: just sit with your back straight, and notice your only breath. In another session, notice only sounds.
- Make an inspired tumbler of excellent matcha, take small sips, and remind yourself that you're doing something positive for your equanimity and for your enhanced immunological response. These work together nicely.
All of these things result in the miracle of compound interest -- you add value to your future self every day, in five-minute chunks.
I love Annie Dillard's line, "How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives."
And Desmond Tutu's: "Do your little bit of good where you are; it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”
Here's to using tiny bits of time well, today. And tomorrow. Would love to hear about your favorite five-minute chunk.