Have you got five minutes?

I wrote this a few years ago. I’d had an infographic by my desk for a year or so. In it, Christopher Penn gave us things to do with five minutes. I’ve found it helpful, since I often end up with five minutes. But I want to give some additional options. And so I make a list. If I had done these things with the five minute blocks I’ve had since May 2016, just think of what I’d have gotten done.


If you have five minutes, what can you do instead of scrolling through Facebook?

  1. Email a friend with a simple “Hi!” It can start the conversation that you have been meaning to have.
  2. Review something that you are trying to memorize. It can be a Bible verse or a Bible passage. (Ideally, you are trying to memorize something. It stretches our learning capacity.)
  3. Close your eyes. Even if you don’t sleep, resting your senses may be helpful.
  4. Delete five photos from your phone. There are hundreds, right? And you never have time to edit. But five minutes will allow you to clean them, sort them, remember what was happening. If you want to get crazy, label three of them.
  5. Walk around the yard. Fresh air is useful. If you want to get creative, you can pray while you do it. 
  6. Walk up and down the stairs. Carry something with you, and you may be able to put something away. 
  7. Address an envelope. Especially if you have a wedding coming up, or Christmas, or family reunion, or, like my friend Paul Merrill, you just like to surprise people.
  8. Put five books back on the shelf. Or back on the pile.
  9. Sort one pile of papers, or read one article from the pile. 
  10. Write one thank you note. You can put it in the envelope you addressed earlier. 
  11. Ask God for advice about one project, just like you you did with the friend up above.
  12. Write a list of things to do with five minutes.