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what you can accomplish in 10 minutes

40 Things You Can Accomplish in 10 Minutes

what you can accomplish in 10 minutesThere are 1440 minutes in a day. I realized how long this was yesterday when I was reheating my lunch in a microwave. Two and a half minutes seemed like eternity.

This got me thinking about how much can be accomplished in just 10 little minutes: a race can be won, a business idea can be born, a satisfying meal can be cooked. The list goes on…

So here is my dilemma.

If so much can be done in a matter of 10-15 minutes and most of us stay busy all day long, why do we not feel like we have done much and go to bed hoping that we will be more productive the next day?

My guess is that we do not plan our days intelligently enough, so we let mindless activities and useless chatter suck up our precious time.

This is what happens to me. And I bet that this is what sometimes happens to you as well.

That is why I came up with the list of 10-minute activities that are fun, useful, creative, satisfying or helpful to others. If we can incorporate at least 2 or 3 of them each day, I believe that we will see huge positive changes in our daily routine.

So let’s not allow time-wasters to shorten our minutes and have our days go by without leaving their mark in our memory.

40 Things we can Achieve in 10 Minutes:

1. Take a nap.

Who cares if it is 2 p.m.? Some pretty convincing studies demonstrate that power naps are not only enjoyable, but are beneficial for some types of memory tasks.

2. Air out your room.

Open the windows and let the fresh air fill the space.

3. Send an email to your future self.

Is there any advice, questions or any goals that you would like to share with your future self? FutureMe allows you to write an email to yourself and have it sent to your inbox a year or even 10 years from now.

4. Burn 300 calories.

By doing 10 minute CrossFit workouts you can actually burn more than 300 calories.

5. Get in touch with an old friend.

Use 10 minutes to get in touch with someone you have not seen or talked to for a few months. With Facebook or Skype it is very easy to do.

6. Cook a dinner.

It is possible to prepare a savory meal in 10 minutes. For ideas and recipes check out TasteOfHome or Greatist.

7. Meditate.

Meditation expands the sense of time, improves creativity and concentration and helps you to stay grounded throughout the day.

8. Clean out your wallet or your purse.

9. Read a chapter of a book.

Just one chapter a day could easily add up to 20 read books by the end of the year. Check out BookBoon website for 50-page long free books on various topics. And while you are at it, check out my book on “Successful Public Speaking

10. Plan something fun to do in the evening.

Download a movie, organize a night out with your friends, check if there are any greats events on meetup that you would like to participate in.

11. Learn one skill.

It does not matter if your goal is to master the basics of Spanish or learn to dance Salsa. 10 minutes a day can get you there in just a few months.

12. Blog.

I have to admit that it takes me longer than 10 minutes to write a blog post, but you can take the short and sweet approach yourself.

13. Organize.

In 10 minute bursts there is a lot you can do to organize your life. One day you can clean a table top. Another – organize your desk drawers. Then you can vacuum your living room. By the end of the month you will notice that your living and work environment has been completely transformed.

14. Research something interesting.

With Google at your fingertips you can find tons of helpful information about your health, relationships, hobby, career, or some way to improve your life.

15. Brew a cup of tea.

And drink it slowly, savoring every sip.

16. Take a walk.

Okay, maybe you do not have time to take a long stroll after dinner, but you can still walk to lunch or to the store instead of driving there.
17. Admire a sunset.

18. Unclutter and Simplify your life.

Find something in your house that you no longer need, and give it away to someone who can use it.

19. Get an unpleasant task out of your way.

Tackle whatever you have been avoiding for the last few days or months and dedicate just 10 minutes to it. Knowing that you have to work on it only for a short while will keep you from procrastinating and soon you will get it over with.

20. Clean your keyboard and wipe your computer screen.

21. Take out your oldest family photo album and look through it.

The experience will fill you with fond memories and lift your spirits.

22. Take a shower.

Let the hot steam relax your body and wash away stress and any negative emotions that you might have felt during the day.

23. Pray

24. Stretch your body.

There is nothing better than a long, lazy body stretch in the middle of a busy workday.

25. Call your mother (although, in my case it may take more than 10 minutes)

26. Take a beauty break.

If you are a woman you will understand me, when I say that 10 minutes spent painting your toenails, plucking our eyebrows or pampering our face with an exfoliating body mask goes a long way towards making us feel more confident and better prepared for the day ahead.

27. Make a quick list for the day: calls to make, errands to run etc.

28. Water your plants

29. Pay a bill online.

This may not be the most pleasant task on your list, but it is necessary.

30. Rearrange something in your house.

Hang a new painting. Put new decorative pillows on the couch. Set potpourri on your desk. It will add an element of freshness and style to your house.

31. Give yourself a little neck massage.

32. Toss the junk mail.

I can not explain it, but it is somehow liberating to delete those “unread” emails that you forgot or did not feel like reading.

33. Sit quietly and enjoy the benefits of silence.

34. Clean your car.

It feels good to get in your car after work and not be distracted by empty coffee cups, spare change lying around, and bread crumbs left on the passenger’s seat.

35. Throw in a load of laundry.

Doing laundry is one of the tasks that makes me really appreciate modern conveniences in my life. All you have to do is fill the washer with laundry detergent, push the button and then lie down and relax.

36. Have a great conversation.

Or better yet, spend 10 minutes listening to someone, without distraction or interruption.

37. Spend time with your kids.

Some findings suggest that if parents dedicate to their children as little as 10-15 minutes of their attention a day, children have less health problems, do better at school and develop a healthy self-image. But when I talk about being there for your kids I do not mean cooking, watching TV and refocusing back on your children during commercial breaks. I mean really spending time together!

38. Make breakfast for your Partner.

There’s something almost sacramental about heating up water, putting in the right amount of tea or coffee, spreading jam over toast and setting the table. Sharing breakfast together is one of those rituals that bonds us together and sets the mood for the whole day.

39. Identify one task to be canceled.

Out of your entire to do list for today there must be one task which can be crossed off.

40. Go out and take some photos!

Not only it boosts creativity, it also helps to see ordinary objects in a new light. And if you do not think that there is anything worth capturing on your camera, then check out this picture. Can you guess what is it? An escalator!!!

Are there any other things that can be achieved in 10 Minutes?

Actually, there is one –  you can leave a comment at the end of this article! Although, it will take you less than 10 minutes… 🙂

  • Shweta Sonny
    March 27, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    loved it 🙂

    • Arina
      March 28, 2012 at 11:22 am

      Thank you! 🙂

  • Nicole
    March 27, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    Thanks for this-after being out of paid workfor a while it can be good to read something that gives focus.

    • Arina
      March 28, 2012 at 11:21 am

      Thank you, Nicole. I hope that you will soon find a job that you will both enjoy and get paid for. 

      You can even adjust tips in this article to help you achieve this goal. For example, call ten old friends and let them know that you are looking for a job. Research for job openings on or Take 10 minutes to set a profile on Even start your own blog. There are a lot of people, who have turned their hobby into the stable income source. 

      I am sure that you are already doing most of those things, but if you break these tasks in 10-minute chunks they will not seem as daunting. And, as you said, it will be easier to stay focused on them.

  • NK
    March 28, 2012 at 8:35 am

    Felt refreshed

    • Arina
      March 28, 2012 at 11:02 am

      It is great to hear it, NK!

  • Athena Creatives
    March 29, 2012 at 4:10 am

    Thank you for such an informative post.  I like number 33 which says ”
    33. Sit quietly and enjoy the benefits of silence.”  With or withour a friend, its quite relaxing to spend some moments of silence.  =)

    • Arina
      April 2, 2012 at 10:24 am

      I can relate to your comment even more after a spending a very busy, though enjoyable, weekend together with my friends and their children. Just sitting a few minutes in silence with my eyes closed sounds like heaven right now. Thank you for the reminder. 🙂 

  • Srpatil44
    March 30, 2012 at 1:17 am

    Very informative and useful one.

  • Hostalvesta
    March 30, 2012 at 6:32 am

    Its a eye opener good one

  • Avinash
    April 1, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    superb……..g8 article……

  • Jody
    April 1, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    Wonderful posts Arina!!! Although simple, the activities are those I for one sometimes take for granted. It’s refreshing to be reminded of their importance though…

  • Anuishasharma
    April 2, 2012 at 7:43 am

    Awesome list, surely it will help me 

  • Lopezblack63
    April 3, 2012 at 1:31 am

    Very interesting and helpful, all these activities are useful and add something to our lives……..Thanks Arina!

  • Marina
    April 3, 2012 at 7:39 am

    Very nice, easy to do and motivation. Thank you for posting.

  • David Egan
    April 11, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    Another suggestion: Play! Bounce a ball, play catch, climb something. Play with your kids or on your own. Just play for the hell of it, rather than goal directed activity. A great way to relax for 10 minutes and get some perspective.

    • Arina
      July 27, 2012 at 4:25 pm

      Great tip David! Things like throwing a ball or tossing Frisbee are those fun activities that you can do for 10 minutes and then go back to work, actually feeling energized and more productive. 

  • Marina
    April 16, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    Thanks Arina…….very useful!!

  • Weber506
    May 15, 2012 at 8:06 am

    I enjoy getting your daily positive tips. Now if you would only tell me how to get rid of the annoying pop up with facebook & twitter I would be 100% happy.

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