What to Do in Free Time: 20 Productive Ideas for Short Chunks
We all have moments of free time in our day, but sometimes it feels like too little time to really make a difference. However, if we learn to use these small chunks of time efficiently, they can add up and make a big impact on our productivity. Whether it’s five, ten, or 15 minutes, there’s always something productive to do. Here are 20 ideas for making the most of those brief moments:
1. Reading Files – Clip or print out articles for reading later and keep them in a folder. Take it wherever you go and knock items off the list whenever there’s a spare moment.
2. Clear out Inbox – Use spare moments to get physical or email inboxes cleared out. You may not get everything done, but reducing the pile can provide a sense of accomplishment.
3. Phone Calls – Keep a list of phone calls and phone numbers handy. Knock off a few calls in short amounts of time.
4. Make Money – Freelance writing or other work can be broken up into shorter chunks, allowing for quick productivity bursts throughout the day.
5. File – Cut into stacks of paperwork whenever there’s a spare moment to get organized.
6. Network – Send off a quick email or follow-up note to stay connected with colleagues.
7. Clear out Feeds – Use a quick moment to clear out Google Reader feeds and stay on top of industry news.
8. Goal Time – Spend ten minutes thinking about personal and professional goals. Write out an action plan for making them a reality.
9. Update Finances – Stay on top of finances by updating bills and transactions in financial software.
10. Brainstorm Ideas – Take five minutes to brainstorm ideas for projects or articles.
11. Clear off Desk – Take a break from work and tidy up physical workspaces by trashing unnecessary items or filing important documents.
12. Exercise – Use small pockets of time to do a few quick sets of pushups or crunches.
13. Take a Walk – Get out of the office or take a break from work while stretching and getting exercise.
14. Follow up – Keep a follow-up list for items that people owe you. Cross off items as they are fulfilled.
15. Meditate – Spend five to ten minutes focusing on breathing and relaxing.
16. Research – Use a few spare minutes to do quick research on a topic and take notes.
17. Outline – Create an outline for a complicated article or project, which can make the writing process easier later on.
18. Get Prepped – Prep for the next task on the to-do list by outlining or getting organized beforehand.
19. Be Early – Show up early for meetings to show respect and get settled beforehand.
20. Log – Use a spare moment to update logs for exercise, food, or other important life events.
There’s always something productive to do, even if it’s just for five or ten minutes. By using those moments efficiently, it’s easy to accomplish small tasks throughout the day, making us more productive overall. Find the method that works best for each individual, and free time will become moments of productivity instead of wasted time.