8 Things You Should Do Every Day That Take Less Than Ten Minutes

Photo by Islam Hassan on Unsplash

There’s a lot we can do in a day.

The problem is life happens and we end up spending hours on only a couple of activities. The main culprits are work and screen time. We work all day; then we pop on a form of entertainment until bedtime.

Let’s change that.

I’ve listed 8 things you should consider adding to your day. And none of these activities have to take very long.

1. Go For a Walk

“All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.”

― Friedrich Nietzsche

Spend a few minutes each day going for a walk. The opportunities are endless.

In the morning to walk your dog (if you’re lucky enough to have one). During your lunch break. In the evening to watch the sunset.

Going for a walk is a great form of release. It breaks up your day. It also is a way to get your creative juices flowing. Don’t believe me? A Stanford University study found our creative output increases by 60% when walking compared to sitting.

So get off your tush and move those legs!

2. Message an Old Friend

“Remember that the most valuable antiques are dear old friends.” 

— H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Text/message someone you haven’t spoken to in a while. We can all think about previous stages of our lives. In those previous stages, there were people that meant a lot to us.

An old high school or college friend. A work colleague from five years ago. Your old neighbor before moving neighborhoods.

Think about what it feels like to receive a message from someone you care about yet you haven’t spoken to in months (and sometimes years).

It’s a great feeling. So share those vibes with somebody else. It could make their day.

3. Be Bored

“When you pay attention to boredom it gets unbelievably interesting.”

— Jon Kabat-Zinn

Yes, that’s right. Spend time each day doing absolutely nothing. Let your mind wander.

If you’re never bored, you’re missing out. There is countless research demonstrating the value boredom has on our creativity, problem-solving skills, and general well-being.

4. Discuss an Idea

“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”

— Eleanor Roosevelt

Most of what we discuss on a day-to-day basis is not of great depth. Unless you are in an academic setting, it’s difficult to spark conversations on ideas.

This is a travesty. The most meaningful conversations are about ideas. What’s the meaning of life? Why do bad things happen to good people? How do we sort out our political differences?

Spend time discussing ideas.

5. Take Inventory of Your Breathing

“For breath is life, so if you breathe well you will live long on earth.”

— Sanskrit Proverb

To breathe to be alive. It’s something we should never take for granted. Yet, we hardly think about how we breathe.

Because we don’t think about our breathing, we start doing it poorly. We begin breathing through our mouths. We don’t breathe deeply enough. We don’t fully exhale.

These are all problems.

Meditation is a great way to address our breathing woes. If you don’t like to meditate — or don’t have the time — you can spend a sliver of your day (it could be one minute) to take inventory of your breathing. Making a conscious correction to your breathing can overtime address how you breathe when you aren’t thinking about it.

Want to learn more about breathing? I highly recommend the book Breath by James Nestor. You’ll never look at breathing the same way again.

6. Find Something That Makes You Laugh

“A good laugh is a mighty good thing, a rather too scarce a good thing.”

Herman Melville

Laughter fuels us. It gives us life and brightens our day. But for some of us, laughter is a depleted resource.

In a perfect world, our days are filled with unanticipated laughter. Unfortunately, we all get in our groundhog day-esque modes with little to no laughter.

In these scenarios, if you find laughter is not a part of your day, you must manufacture it yourself. Listen to a stand-up comedian. Find a YouTube video of your favorite comedic scene.

Don’t just sit there, laugh about something.

7. Read a Book

“I read a book one day and my whole life was changed.”

— Orhan Pamuk

Simply reading isn’t good enough. What you read matters just as much as the fact you’re reading in the first place.

We all know people that spend hours reading every day, but not a minute of that reading was of a published book. I could spend hours every day reading the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal and claim I’m well-read.

But we’re missing out on books. There’s something about reading a book that you don’t get when reading the news. The news gets repetitive. Books have a way of presenting fresh perspectives.

Read a dang book.

8. Stretch

“You are only as young as your spine is flexible.”

— Joseph Pilates

Want to improve your posture, increase your range of motion, and prevent future injury?

Then stretch.

A few minutes in the morning or evening can make a huge difference.

Every task listed can be done with brevity. Time is a precious resource, and each of these tasks is time well spent.

If you implement all these activities to your day, that’s an A+ for you.

But even if you can squeeze one of these activities into your daily routine, it can pay dividends down the road.

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